Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Beauty Time Out: Epsom Salt Bath Awesomeness

I did it! I did it! I ran my first half marathon! The whole thing!

I have a recap forthcoming, which I am excited to share, however, the purpose for this post today is to tell you about this awesome bath I took after the race, which helped relieve some of my muscle pain after the race.

I'd heard about Epsom salt from my mom, as well as from more hardcore runners than myself. According to the instructions on the packaging, all you do is put two cups of Epsom salt in the bathtub while you draw a bath, and you're good to go! Noting that the bag of Epsom salt I had in my trunk for the last year or so had a hole in it, and was probably only good for throwing down when it starts snowing or something in the next month, I made a stop at CVS after the race. There, I picked up some Epsom salt, but also spotted a couple of extra ingredients I wanted to add to my relaxation and recovery bath.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Running the Annapolis Running Classic This Weekend? Check Out This App!

As I can't stop telling everyone, I'm going to be running my first half marathon on Saturday! That's right: The Annapolis Running Classic is finally here! I can't believe that I will finally be able to stick a 13.1 sticker on my bumper! My fellow A-Team members are also getting pumped, and I can't wait to slap a big ol' grin on my face for our group photo after the race!

Wait a second! Did you register? If you haven't yet, but you want to, get on it RIGHT NOW! Today is the last day to register, yo! Register HERE and use the code ARREF15 to get an additional 10% off.

Okay, now that we're over that minor detail, let me tell you about this app, and what it has to do with the Annapolis Running Classic.

You may have noticed that I'm a RunGo Ambassador. That has been pretty sweet for me so far, but it just got a little sweeter today. You see, the lovely team at RunGo put together two guided routes for the race. They have one for the 10k, and one for the half marathon. There are cool little fun facts sprinkled throughout the route for your running pleasure.

Here are the links to the guided routes:

How do you use the routes?

First, make sure you have the app downloaded on your phone. Next, click on the route above that you will be running on Saturday. Click, "View in App." Click "Download," which is located just below the map. Finally, click the "Run" button with the cute little green runner, and you're all set! Just make sure that your GPS is on. :-)

Are you running the Annapolis Running Classic this weekend? Will you be running the 10k or the half marathon? Have you ever visited Annapolis?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Beauty Time Out: c.Booth Sea Salt Body Scrub

This week, I am tapering (mostly) in preparation for my first half marathon EVER! As many of you know, I will be running the Annapolis Running Classic Half Marathon this Saturday! I have met several of my fellow Annapolis Running Classic A-Team members over the last few months, and I'm looking forward to meeting the rest on Saturday. Judging by the weather reports, the race will be about 20 degrees warmer than last year, and it should be sunny on top of that. Woohoo! If you haven't signed up yet, make sure you hurry up and register! The last day to register is November 18! Be sure to use my discount code (ARREF15) to take an additional 10% off the registration price!

Speaking of cold weather, it is that time of year where most of us starting to get a little cracked around the edges. The cool air can really take a toll on your skin, so I know I definitely have to give my skin a little extra TLC to help it survive the fall and winter. I'm always on the lookout for good products that can help me battle the ash, while not causing my skin to react in a negative way. Today, I'm reviewing the All Over Body Sea Salt Scrub by c.Booth. I love scrubs in the winter because I can really scrub that dead skin off, and my skin loves soaking in moisturizers and lotions after I'm all done with a good scrub.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Reed Reads: The Accidental Athlete

While I normally read political nonfiction, I have been focusing on reading other genres this year -- particularly other genres of nonfiction. I have been inspired to read the stories of other athletes, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to read The Accidental Athlete: How Running Changed My Life by Stephanie Atwood. Reading the stories of athletes can be both inspirational and motivational, while challenging you to examine the role of sports in your life.

The Accidental Athlete was a quick and easy read about how Atwood became a runner, and grew to love running even more than she did as a child, despite a series of heartbreaking life events.

I'm a bit torn on how I felt after reading this book. On the one hand, I love reading about how different people reach self discovery, and was interested to see how Atwood came to call herself an athlete. On the other hand, the writing style left much to be desired.

Monday, November 9, 2015

I Tried (and Failed) to Practice Yoga Today

Yesterday, I had a wicked long volleyball tournament. Our region hosts these tournaments called fellowships, where you basically practice with your team, and try out new players who might want to join your team. You get "rated" as a scorekeeper or referee at these tournaments, so they don't count for anyone, and you can't get upset if there are scorekeeping errors or new refs who don't necessarily know all of the rules. I think of it sort of as a preseason for the USA Volleyball season, or practice tournaments.

My volleyball team has actually expanded quite a bit over the last two seasons, so much so that we actually added a second team, and formed a club. We had several players who are new to our club who came out yesterday and played with us. We ended up playing in both the morning and afternoon sessions, which means that we played 5 volleyball matches yesterday. Fortunately, they were shorter-than-usual matches, so we weren't as exhausted as you would normally be after a tournament; however, it's been 7 months since my last tournament, and we played pretty much consecutively from 9:00 a.m. until about 3:00 p.m.. Needless to say, I'm a little out of practice with playing all day - even if it's just for practice!

I spent yesterday evening with my family. I took a good, long shower before heading over to my parents' place, poured Icy Hot all over my lower back, squeezed on my SLS3 compression sleeves, put on some comfy socks, put on my baggiest, shlumpiest bumping around clothes, put on my Uggs, and prepared to get my grub on. We ate, talked, laughed, and genuinely enjoyed each other's company. After dinner, we watched The Walking Dead, and then I went home and passed out

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Fit Food: Easy Crock Pot Lentil Soup

Nom nom nom! That's the sound I made when I tasted my soup after it had been cooking in all of its veggie goodness overnight!

In my totally humble opinion, this is my best lentil soup recipe to date! I have been fiddling around with different flavor combinations, and I think I finally achieved exactly the flavor I was looking for.

As I may have mentioned on here before (maybe not?), lentil soup is absolutely my favorite type of soup. I'm pretty picky about my lentil soup, and while I should maybe be a little embarrassed by how picky I am, I'm really not. You see, lentil soup has been my favorite soup since I was really young, so I've tried so many different types of lentil soup, and have pretty much settled into what I expect out of my soup. First and foremost, lentil soup cannot be runny. I need it to be thicker, almost like a stew. The vegetables are crucial to the flavor. I don't care much for lentil soup recipes which require celery, or those which require you to roast the vegetables before adding them to the soup. Finally, any lentil soup that gets my stamp of approval has to have spinach. I don't know what it is, but something about spinach really elevates the flavor of lentil soup for me. Now that I've spelled out the qualities I look for in a lentil soup, let me get to the real reason why you're still sticking around: my lentil soup recipe!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

What Should Be My First Marathon?

I have been on a super wacky schedule lately; however, I have managed to (generally) stick to my modified Mediterranean Diet and lose a few more pounds. Eating more vegetables and lean protein is definitely helping my clothes fit a little looser, and my belly look a little slimmer. I'm not losing crazy amounts of weight, which is actually why I am encouraged. I know that this diet is sustainable, as long as I stay motivated.

Since I've been feeling more confident, motivated, and focused on my wellness, I came to the conclusion that I want to work on training for a marathon next year. Of course, this was inspired by all of the amazing speakers at the National Endurance Sports Summit, which I wrote about previously. I'm running my first half marathon in just a few weeks, so I know, with a bit of dedication to training, I can actually complete my first marathon. There's just one problem...

Friday, October 23, 2015

"I Want to Experience More": 2015 National Endurance Sports Summit Recap

This month, I had my first experience with attending an event as an ambassador. I woke myself (and my boyfriend) up super, duper early and drove up to Princeton University. What a gorgeous campus! I actually wanted to apply to their urban planning program a few years ago, but talked myself out of it (wuss). After walking around the historic, Ivy League campus, I felt inspired to consider applying some day. Maybe...

But, I digress. The real reason for this post is not to tell you all about all of my hopes and dreams, but rather to tell you about the wonderful 2015 National Endurance Sports Summit (NESS 2015) I attended on behalf of RunGo.

NESS 2015 was a two-day sports summit hosted by Team U, an intercollegiate fundraising endurance team. I attended the first day of NESS 2015, which featured a variety of speakers with various backgrounds, but all with fascinating stories to tell.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

I Didn't Run, But I Did Parkour

That's how I would describe last weekend. You know how you can get a runner's high? I think I had a parkour high!

Last Saturday morning, early, early early in the morning, to the point where I beat the sun up and out the door (which almost never happens), I drove up to Princeton University for the National Endurance Sports Summit. I attended on behalf of the RunGo App, as a RunGo Ambassador. I learned so many things, and met so many interesting people at NESS 2015. I can't wait to share a more detailed write up about it!

I learned a ton about nutrition, motivation, and what it takes to be an endurance athlete.  One of the coolest things I took away from the experience was learning about parkour, and actually taking a lesson in parkour out in the lawn in front of the Frist Campus Center. I'd never actually had in-person exposure to parkour. The limited exposure I had was a ridiculous scene in The Office, and seeing videos of crazy guys jumping and flipping over all kinds of stuff, teetering on the edge of injury.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Did You Know Fabletics Has a Physical Store?

Well, they do! And I had a chance to check out the one in Columbia, Maryland two weekends ago!

I received a seemingly last-minute email from Fabletics inviting me to their store opening for their store in Columbia, Maryland. Wait, store opening? I didn't know they had a store! Unfortunately, I couldn't work it out to get to the grand opening celebration that day; however, I managed to stop by a few days later, which was great because I felt like I had a more normal shopping experience. It was weird being back in the mall where I'd worked part time for 8 years. I probably hadn't been back there since I finally "retired" from Ann Taylor last fall!

First and foremost, if you don't know what Fabletics is, check out my original review from last year here.


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