Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Running Club + My Birthday!

After a few weeks without making it, I finally ran with my office running club today! There were three of us who stuck together (for the most part...we fanned out a bit towards the second half of the run) for the 3-4 mile run along the Embarcadero. It's a nice, flat route, so perfect for pushing yourself a little bit.

Despite not being in the best shape today (I celebrated my birthday with an incredible dinner and wonderful friends last night...and, of course, good wine!), I managed to run a sub-10 minute mile! I didn't feel like I was running particularly fast, so that was a very pleasant surprise when I checked out my post-run stats.

Tank: Lululemon [similar]
Jacket: Asics [similar]
Leggings: Under Armour [similar]
Shoes: Newton Running [exact]

I was actually prepared for a windy run today, but because it happened to be both warm and windy, I ended up shedding my jacket pretty quickly. Normally, I'm resistant to taking layers off because I hate the feeling of having something tied around my waist. This jacket is so light, though, that I had to keep checking to make sure it was actually there! These leggings also fall under colder weather clothing, but I wore them specifically today so they could do double duty (paired with a long, dressier shirt and boots, they are great for the office!). They worked just fine on the run, but I definitely wouldn't have minded some crops!

What are your go-to pieces for layering? Any favorite light layers?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Capping Off a Great Day with Climbing

There's nothing quite like a day filled with all kinds of things you love! My office gives us a day off for our birthday. We have to take that particular day off during our birthday month itself and, since mine falls in April, I took a day off to go have a lovely NorCal adventure. After a day of wine tasting, visits to creameries (delicious cheese!), delicious meals and stunning sights (Stinson Beach! The top of Mt. Tamalpais! Russian River!) alongside my lovely friend Arianne, I made it home to San Francisco with enough time to squeeze in a bit of climbing.

Shirt: Nike [similar]
Sports bra: C9 [similar]
Pants: Yogasmoga [exact]
Shoes: Evolv [exact]

It was pretty chilly out when I left my house for the gym (the fog rolled in pretty intensely!), so I opted for a long sleeve since the gym usually leaves lots of windows open. This ended up being a bit too warm, though. I love this shirt (I've had it for years) and, although it does move well for climbing purposes, a long-sleeved shirt is just generally too much for an hour or more of intense bouldering. San Francisco is a city whose climate is perfect for layers...and I think this sport falls under the same category!

How's your week going so far? Off to a good start?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Running the Stress Away

The other day, I was having a pretty stressful day due to a variety of factors. As I was trying to distract myself to get my thoughts together, I kept coming back to two options: down a glass of wine or go for a run. Well, the weather was incredible and I knew that, because of a day trip I had planned, it was unlikely that I was going to exercise the next, off on a run I went! It was a slower run...I was on my own, so no competitive side to cater to. But it was a truly enjoyable run! I meandered along, undaunted my the strong headwind, doing exactly what I wanted to do every step of the run.

I'm a big proponent of running with other people from time to time simply because it pushes you out of your comfort zone...but this was one of those times that a solo run was just what the doctor ordered. Four miles after I started, my head was in a much better place and I felt pretty psyched on life!

Tank: Urban Outfitters [similar]
Sports bra: C9 [similar]
Pants: GapFit [similar]
Shoes: Newton Running [exact]
Sunglasses: Oakley [exact]

I was wearing this tank top earlier in the day and opted to keep it on for my's one of my favorite tank tops :) I can't say it's exactly ideal for running (the fabric is just regular old cotton, so it does nothing to help wick away sweat), but it holds up decently enough for a short run. These pants continue to be one of my favorites...and I continue to wish for GapFit to return to their old style of pants!

How do you deal with stress? Would you have opted for the glass of wine or the run?

Protein-Packed Berry Lime Açaí Bowl

I've been on a big açaí kick lately! I discovered a place that makes açaí bowls down by my work and, after a week of paying $8 a bowl, I decided to learn how to make my own. It took a couple of grocery store trips to finally find a store that carried açaí packs (thanks, Whole Foods!), but once those were secured, everything else was relatively easy.

I used Trader Joe's hemp protein powder to add a bit more protein to the mix. If you're not a fan of protein powder, you can easily skip out on it.

Protein-Packed Berry Lime Açaí Bowl
1 açaí smoothie pack
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
1 banana
Juice from 1 lime
2 T. coconut water
1/4 cup hemp protein powder

Place all ingredients (except granola) into a blender. Blend on high, stopping to stir from time to time. Once well blended, pour into a bowl and top with as much granola as desired.

If it's a little too thick for your taste, you can always add more coconut water until it's at your desired consistency. I prefer mine pretty thick, so I don't add a whole lot.

All in all, it's a delicious, refreshing way to kick off your day with plenty of fruits and antioxidants! It's also very easy to experiment with and make up your own variations. The lime, for example, was just something I had on hand and decided to throw ended up being a very happy addition. So, have fun and make your own perfect açaí bowl. This is a great jumping off point.

What other new recipes have you tried lately?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fast Miles and Sunshine

Happy Saturday! After enjoying an açaí bowl (recipe coming on Monday!) and a coffee this morning, I met up with Whitney for a sunny run that resulted in one of our fastest miles ever.

I was a bit concerned that it would be a slow run since, as I mentioned the other day, I haven't been sleeping well while dog/house sitting. Typically, when I'm running low on sleep, it takes me a ridiculously long amount of time to recover. This week was no exception — I've been more sore from my Wednesday run than I was after my 10k!

But, fortunately, Whitney and I scheduled a run, so I couldn't use my sore legs as an excuse :) Once I got warmed up, I felt great! We were just over 10 minutes on our third mile which, considering that I was running 12 minute miles just a few weeks ago, made me feel pretty accomplished. We've been averaging around 10:30/mile on our runs, and it's really the first time I've ever seen a clear improvement in my speed. It's very fulfilling seeing such a change looking back through my MapMyRun workouts!

Shirt: Nike [similar]
Pants: Calvin Klein Performance [exact]
Shoes: Newton Running [exact]
Sunglasses: Oakley [exact]

I was a little overdressed for today's run. It was pretty cold here (by San Francisco standards) this morning, so I was expecting a very chilly run! I'm not sure if it had warmed up or if it was the fact that I was running faster than usual, but I was sweating within minutes of starting to run. Like last time, my newish Calvin Klein pants were incredible. They seriously don't move at all, even though they're lower cut in the waist than most of my workout pants. I can't wait to go back to the store and check out more styles of them!

How's everyone else's weekend going?

April 2015 Birchbox

This month, I had a few issues with my Birchbox, so this post is going up a bit later than usual. After last month's less than stellar box, I was hoping for a good one this time around. I was pretty pumped about the sample choices they had available (they were all pretty great makeup products), but when I went to request one, they had already sold out of all of them. So, it was a total surprise box for me this month!

I only wish it had been a better surprise! I had one item that was a duplicate (shaving lotion) from a previous box, so I contacted Birchbox about that since you aren't supposed to get products you've tried before. They wrote back that, because it was a different scent, it didn't count as a duplicate. I feel like that line is a bit troublesome — with that logic, couldn't they theoretically give you the same products every month as long as they're different colors or scents? Fortunately, though, I pushed back a bit more and they gave me 50 Birchbox points ($5 to spend on their online store) in response.

In this month's box...
Temple Spa Peace Be Still Calming Face & Body Balm
Supergoop! Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream
Whish Shave Crave Shaving Lotion
Cynthia Rowley Beauty Brightening Illuminator
Beauty Protector Protect & Oil

The only thing that gets me excited at all in this box is the eye cream...and even with that, I'm not exactly jumping up and down with joy over it. The Temple Spa lotion does smell just like a spa, which is kind of cool. I am curious to try it out and see if it really is calming. I've heard good things about the Cynthia Rowley illuminator online, but I'm not generally a big fan of highlighters or illuminators. My skin's already pretty pale, so it just makes it look shiny (and not in a good way)! Oh well...time to cross my fingers again for next month!

What did you get in your Birchbox this month?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Running (and Climbing) on Empty + Daredevil

Apologies for the lack of updates over the last few days...I've been dog/house sitting for a friend and the dogs are very early risers, so my schedule has been a bit off. I did take my running things along to work the other day and managed to squeeze in a midday run along the water. Despite my lack of energy, it was actually a great run! I kept the pace up much higher than I typically do when running was a nice change.

Today, I went climbing with Arianne and Jason. We were there for quite awhile! The evening started with some bouldering, then ended with top roping!

Tank: Forever 21 [similar]
Pants: Under Armour [exact]
Shoes: Evolv [exact]

This outfit was a great one for tonight. Over the last few wears, these pants have gotten even better at moving with me. I did a little bend over test to make sure the fabric wasn't thinning out, but it still looks nice and opaque for me! It looks like they added a new color online, too, so definitely worth checking out if you're in the market for new workout crops! 

One other recommendation: Daredevil. With my low energy this week, that's meant a bit more television time than usual. I've opted to use those hours to binge watch Daredevil, Marvel's first original TV series for Netflix. I started watching it on a whim, but it quickly grew to one of my favorite current shows. It's dark and gritty, but also has heart and really makes you care about the characters. Check it out if you're looking for new shows!

What other shows are on your radar right now?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Kicking Off the Weekend with a Run + Tone It Up Bikini Series

Ahh favorite day of the week! I love few things more than my Saturday morning routine — sleeping in, making eggs and bacon (and coffee!) for breakfast, maybe catching up on a TV show or two, then going for a run. This morning, Whitney came over and joined me for the running portion of the morning. We did a pretty fast-paced 5k (one of the quickest paces we've ever set on our runs) on our usual loop. Afterwards, we hit up Trader Joe's to stock up on our groceries for the week.

Shirt: GapFit [exact]
Pants: Calvin Klein Performance [exact]
Shoes: Newton Running [exact]
Sunglasses: Oakley [exact]

These pants are amazing! As I mentioned yesterday, I stumbled upon a Calvin Klein Performance store and, since they were having a 50% off sale on athletic pants, I figured I'd give them a shot. It was so worth it! Despite being a bit lower cut on the waist than many of my other workout pants, they didn't budge at all. The material was thick but breathable without any hint of sheerness. They were only around $25 and, even when not on sale, run around $50, making them cheaper than comparable pants from Lululemon or Yogasmoga (and around the same price point as my beloved Under Armour Fly-By Compression Capris).

Post-run, I had a banana with some peanut butter to refuel. I am currently doing the Tone It Up Bikini Series with Whitney (if you follow me on Twitter, you've probably seen some of my tweets about it). Although I'm focusing more on the food parts than the activity parts (I'm a pretty active person already!), it's been great so far. There's a lot of flexibility and you always feel full! We'll see if I last all eight weeks...but so far, so good.

What are you all up to this Saturday morning?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fridays are for Bouldering!

My chaotic week has finally come to an end! Like I was discussing yesterday, I'm always excited when I'm able to schedule a workout in with a friend. Today, my friend Arianne and I had made plans to go climbing after work. A few of my friends have mentioned wanting to give it a shot, and she was one of the first to take me up on it! It was a super fun evening! Despite not having climbed a ton lately, it felt incredible getting back up on the wall. Wine and turkey burgers afterwards felt pretty wonderful, too :)

Tank: Lululemon [exact]
Pants: Under Armour [exact]
Shoes: Evolv [exact]

I think this outfit is my favorite workout outfit that I own. Mint (along with coral and bright red) is one of my absolute favorite colors and also happens to match my eyes, so I love coordinating outfits that include it as a dominant hue. I'm also really loving this tank top! I wish it wasn't sold out in black...I'd totally buy another. I'll have to keep my eyes open for supportive racerback tanks like this one.

Speaking of keeping my eyes open...I took a walk during my lunch break today and stumbled upon a Calvin Klein Performance store. They were have a 50% off sale for all of their bottoms so, of course, I bought a pair to try out. I have some workouts planned this weekend to test them out!

How's did your Friday plans pan out? Was it a fun night for you?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Beautiful Days & Scheduled Runs

Although I thought my week was going to slow down after Monday, that definitely has not been the case! So, when Crystal asked if I wanted to go for a run after work, I jumped at the opportunity. When I have someone else holding me accountable for my workouts and they're scheduled on my calendar, I know that, pending anything disastrous, it's going to happen!

Half zip: C9 [similar]
Tank: Under Armour [similar]
Pants: C9 [exact]
Shoes: Newton Running [exact]
Sunglasses: Oakley [exact]

It was such a beautiful evening for a run! Unfortunately, it was also super windy, which contributed to me not having the best of runs. I had to stop and walk quite a few times! This half zip is great (I've had it for years!), but it doesn't do a whole lot for the wind. 

After running, I went back to Crystal's apartment and had a lovely dinner with her and her husband. They make a spicy shrimp soup that is absolutely amazing! I'll have to see if I can grab the recipe from them to share on here at some point in time. The best thing about the recipe? It's dairy-free and packed with veggies, so it's on the healthier side of things!

One more cool thing for today...I got some shampoo and conditioner in the mail the other day (Influenster sent them to me for free to review) and I was really intrigued by this brand! They donate money to charities that provide clean water around the world for every bottle you purchase. On top of that, it smells divine :)

What new products are on your radar? I just hit up Sephora's VIB sale, so I'll have some other new things to share later this week!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Bourbon Apple Pie

Before the last year or so, I wasn't a fan of fruit-filled desserts. Every so often, I'd hesitantly sample something and like it, but, generally, where desserts were concerned, I was all about chocolate. Today, I'm still very much into chocolate. As someone who tries to eat healthily most of the time, chocolate is often my downfall!

But, last fall, my work announced their annual pie contest. I heard from a few coworkers that, without fail, fruit pies seemed to take the top prize every year. So, I began investigating options for a fruit pie that wouldn't be too overwhelmed with mushy, syrupy fruit.

Enter Bourbon Apple Pie.

This recipe really lets the apples do most of the work where flavor is concerned, so it's important to choose wisely in that department. However, the bourbon-apple cider reduction adds an incredible extra dimension that takes the overall flavor to the next level.

And although I didn't win, I came in as the runner up with this recipe!

Bourbon Apple Pie
Adapted from Buzzfeed

1 recipe of your favorite pie crust or pre-made pie dough, uncooked
3 cups apple cider or fresh apple juice 
1 cup bourbon 
1 lemon 
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract 
3 tablespoons cornstarch 
1 Tablespoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt 
6 medium apples (I've used Honeycrisp, Gala and Granny Smith) 
1 egg 

Combine apple cider or juice and bourbon in a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let this mixture reduce until it's about 1 cup of liquid (it will get thick...this takes awhile!). Once finished, set the liquid aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare your pie pan with your pie crust. 

In a mixing bowl, juice 1 lemon and add in cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and salt. Mix together until combined. Peel the apples and slice into thin (about 3 to 5mm in thickness) slices. Toss in the lemon juice/spice mixture. Add in the cooled bourbon/apple juice reduction and mix together. 

Pour the apples (and any of the leftover juice!) into the prepared pie crust. Using the remaining dough, create a lattice top. Beat the egg with 1 teaspoon of water, then brush onto the lattice top.

Bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake for an additional 45 minutes.

Cool pie to room temperature before serving.

This has quickly become one of my most requested recipes! I highly recommend serving it alongside a scoop of good vanilla ice cream. It disappears quickly, so no need to worry about leftovers tempting you :)

What kinds of recipes do you want to see next on Riley on the Run? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Santa Cruz 10k — My first 10k!

I've done 5ks, half marathons and plenty of other distances in between the two, but somehow, I'd never actually done a 10k. Today, I changed that!

Back in January, I signed up for the Santa Cruz Half Marathon after some coworkers decided to do it. I wasn't terribly optimistic about my ability to get up to half marathon shape in that period of time, but I figured I'd give it my best shot. Well, my better judgment set in as the race loomed closer and closer, and I opted to change my half marathon entry to a 10k one. Over the past few weeks, I've been hitting 4 to 5 miles on my runs pretty frequently, so I knew getting up to 6.2 miles wasn't that much of a stretch.

The day started very early (and, as I've mentioned on here before, I am not a morning person). I had to leave my house by 5:30am to pick up my friend Arianne, so I woke up about a half hour before that to make sure I had everything I needed. Armed with a bag full of workout clothing for every conceivable temperature (coastal weather is finicky!), a water bottle and a coffee mug, I hit the road right on time!

Sunny Santa Cruz!

We were cutting it a bit close when we got to Santa Cruz, so I dropped Arianne off to pick up our packets while I scavenged the city for parking. Eventually, we made it to the starting line, but we had already missed the start time for the 10k! Fortunately, it was chip timed, so it didn't really matter that we were starting a bit late. We jumped in with all of the people waiting to start the 5k and went with them.

There were a lot of people in the 5k! It appeared to be a 5k geared towards children, so there were a lot of parents tagging along and taking photos. That meant there was a LOT of traffic at the beginning of the race. I took advantage of the slow pace to shed my first layer and switch to a tank top (it warmed up quickly!).

After about a mile and a half, the traffic cleared up as the 5k and 10k routes diverged from one another. That was also where I started catching up with some of the people who had started the 10k on time! It was, of course, people walking the race...I didn't catch up to any other runners for quite awhile! As I continued on, I noticed that each of my miles was getting faster, despite some tightness in my calves. Right around the halfway point, I got a second wind and felt fantastic! It wasn't really until around mile 5 that I really started hurting.

Fortunately, I had some great music playing (my playlist is on Spotify if you want to check it out). Whenever I start feeling like I'm dying while running, I start counting songs. I know that each mile is about three songs, so I kept reminding myself that there wasn't that much left. "Only three more songs...only two more songs..."

The end of the race kind of snuck up on me! There was a steep downhill, followed by a sharp turn onto the beach...then bam! Finish line. I normally have a pretty solid kick at the end of races, so I was kind of sad that I didn't realize it was coming up until the pavement had transitioned to some very soft, hard to run on sand. Regardless, I still managed to get a little bit of pep in my step and crossed the finish line with a time of 1:04:59!

Tank: Nike [similar]
Pants: Under Armour [exact]
Half Zip (around my waist): Nike [exact]
Sunglasses: Oakley [exact]

This tank top ended up being the perfect race shirt! It was loose enough that it was comfortable, but fitted enough that it didn't get annoying. I spotted quite a few other runners wearing Nike Women's Half Marathon shirts, too, although none of them were in this particular one. All in all, it was a great race outfit that I'm sure I'll be wearing again in the future. 

I did sign up for another 10k today, after all :) I think I've found a new favorite distance!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sneaking in a Windy Run

It's been a BUSY week! Despite what I said the other day about having plans to go to running club and climbing this week, none of those ended up happening. So, when I was able to get out of work close to the normal time tonight, I made sure that the first thing I did when I got home was throw on my running shoes! Whitney joined me and, since we were both tired after a long week and I have a 10k race this weekend, we did a short little loop.

It was definitely far from ideal conditions for running tonight (well, at least by our Bay Area standards). When we got down by the water, we actually ended up turning around (despite the beautiful sunset) because the wind was so strong!

Shirt: Nike [similar]
Pants: C9 [exact]
Shoes: Newton Running [exact]

This outfit is not the best for a windy run! Neither the pants nor the shirt do much to block wind. I should've busted out my Asics jacket...but alas, I didn't think of that until I was already well on my way. When I was out of the wind, everything worked great, though. This is quickly becoming one of my go-to outfits for running!

I'm off to Santa Cruz this weekend for my first-ever 10k race! I've done 5ks and half marathons before, but I somehow always managed to skip everything in between. My friend Arianne is joining (and I'm pretty sure it's her first 10k, too!). Stay tuned for a race report!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Little Bit of Bouldering, A Little Bit of Belaying

After nearly three weeks without climbing, I finally got back to the gym today and did some bouldering and belaying. Even though my flight got in very late last night and I had an early morning at the office (meaning I was a little sleep deprived today), I was dead set on making it to the gym tonight. So, I recruited my roommate Jason as a belaying partner and off we went!

Tank: Lululemon [similar]
Pants: Aerie [similar]
Shoes: Evolv [exact]

I got sore super quickly today! It was very evident that it had been awhile since I went climbing...I need to build my calluses on my hands back up, for sure. My original outfit plans were derailed by the discovery that something had leaked into my suitcase (it was raining when I landed, so I'm guessing that was the culprit), so all my workout clothes from my trip went straight into the washer (even though they had just been cleaned). I don't believe I've ever worn this tank top climbing before (it's one of my favorites for running in hot weather, though). It worked fine for climbing, but I definitely had to adjust pretty frequently. I'll probably leave it for running use in the future! 

For the rest of the week, I'll probably be taking it somewhat easy because I have my first running race of the season on Sunday (when I say that, it makes me sound like a much better runner than I actually am). I'm planning on running tomorrow, climbing or doing something else fun and active on Thursday and the rest of the week is up in the air! 

What's your week looking like? Hope it's off to a good start!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

We Run Indianapolis

I'm visiting family in Indianapolis for Easter, so today I hit the streets for a run with my sister. She hadn't been running much lately, but she stuck with my pace for the whole run! I was very proud of her. She just moved to a new neighborhood that's pretty running friendly, so I'm sure she'll be running laps around me very soon.

It was definitely a bit cold for my taste (but us Californians aren't exactly accustomed to much in terms of temperature fluctuation), but the sunshine made up for it. Once we got going at a decent pace, it felt much better outside :) We ended up hitting a little bit over four miles by the end of our run.

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

It's been awhile since I ran in less than pretty much perfect temperatures, so I had to bust out some of my trusty layers. As always, this half zip did a great job of keeping me warm while wicking away sweat. I really liked how this outfit looked, too! Considering that I was a bit limited in my workout options since I was living out of a suitcase, I was pretty happy to be able to put together something that looked pretty cohesive!

After my run, my sister and I came back to my parents' house and launched into a cooking frenzy (recipes will be coming your way soon!). But before that happened, I cuddled with my parents' dog Lola for a bit.

Lola is a puggle and one of most loving dogs I've ever met! She was very happy to curl up next to me for awhile while I caught my breath post-run. She's one of my favorite things about coming home :) 

Is anyone else traveling anytime soon? How do you guys squeeze in your workouts on the road?