Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Winter Workout Gear

It's that time of year.  Time to break out the running tights, base layers and all your other cold weather workout gear.  I actually prefer cold weather running to running in the heat, so I am pretty happy it's finally time for layers!  Here are some of my favorite items for staying warm while exercising outdoors.

New Balance Performance Merino Long Sleeve Crew  I love this shirt!  It is a lightweight top, which keeps me warm, yet not overheated.  I wore this during my turkey trot this past weekend and it was the perfect base layer.  At $89.99, it's a bit on the pricey side, but I feel it's worth it.  I know this shirt will get a lot of use year after year.

New Balance Impact Half Zip Yes, another New Balance piece.  I can't help it, but I love the company!  I have this pullover in three colors and I love it.  It adds a great layer of warmth without overheating you.  There is a small zipper pocket in the back big enough for keys, money and ID.  The length is also great.  At 5'10" it can be difficult to find long enough tops, but the length of this pullover is perfect.  This retails at $69.99 but some  colors are marked down to $52.99.  There is an early Black Friday sale going on now, too!

Athleta Windwarrior 2 Tight These tights are fleece-lined and wind resistant.  They are a nice and warm, yet breathable.  There is a zipper pocket in the back which is great for storing your keys.  These pants retail for $98 but are currently on super sale for $31.99.

Smartwool PhD Run Ultralight Micro Socks I have a few pairs of these socks and I love them.  I normally like a really thin sock, so I was pleasantly surprised at how thin these socks were, but still provided lots of padding.  The wool helps keep your feet warm and dry by wicking away sweat.  I've found Smartwool socks in varying prices, but Sierra Trading Post sells them for $10.99.

Oiselle Lux Runfinity Scarf Although the version I have is no longer available, this is very similar to the one I have.  I like this scarf because it is super soft and can be used to block the wind from your face when running.  The scarf is also quite versatile as I wear it when I am not running.  Don't worry, I wash it first!  This is one of my favorite purchases and have gotten so much use out of it.

More Cold Weather Essentials

  • Hat/headband
  • Gloves/mittens
  • Gaiter
  • Wind-blocking jacket
  • Fleece vest

What cold weather gear do you recommend?  When is it too cold to be outside?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Weekend Highlights

Hi there!  Did everyone have a nice weekend?  Mine flew by quickly, as usual!  Here are a few highlights. 

Friday evening birthday cupcake baking

Saturday morning treadmill run

Saturday afternoon and evening birthday celebrations

Sunday morning turkey trotting

Followed by pizza and beer

What were some highlights from your weekend?

Friday, November 20, 2015

What I'm Loving Lately -- Part IV

Good morning and HAPPY FRIDAY!  This has been a long week and I couldn't be happier it is Friday.  I have a fun filled weekend ahead of me and I am counting down the hours until I can officially call it the weekend.  It's been a while since I've created a What I'm Loving Lately post, so here you go!  Below you'll find a list of what makes me happy these days.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

You can find my previous What I'm Loving Lately posts here, here and here.

Polar Seltzer Winter 2015 Flavors I have proclaimed my love for seltzer on this blog on more than one occasion, but I am obsessed with the winter seltzer flavors from Polar.  The cranberry & clementine is my favorite.  I believe they brought this back from last year and I am so happy they did!  My next two favorites are the tart cherry & lime and the winter citrus & berry.  I am on my second case (contains all flavors except the cherry lime) and I am sure to pick up a few more before they stop producing them for the season.

Scarves This time of year has me grabbing for a scarf more often than not.  With the cooler temps, a scarf is a nice way to add some warmth as well as color to your outfit.  I'm loving this one and this one.  The only problem with scarves is I usually wear them the same way.  Below is a helpful video on ways to tie a scarf.

Dark Nail Polish  With the cooler temps, I am definitely drawn toward the darker, richer polish colors.  Deep burgundies and browns are my favorite.  I'm wearing OPI's Every Month is Oktoberfest right now and I love it.  It has the perfect amount of shimmer.

Zen Monkey Juicy Oats  I'm not loving the (juicy) name, but I do love these oats.  They are a quick grab 'n go option for breakfast or a snack.  They are basically overnight oats, which I don't always remember to make until it's too late... like packing my lunch in the morning kind of late!  The oats are mixed with Greek yogurt and fruit.  I've had only the apple cinnamon flavor, but they also come in strawberry, blueberry, pineapple coconut and peach.  Bonus?  They're on sale at Whole Foods this week!

Summer-like Temps  I don't think there is a better place to experience autumn than New England.  Temps right now are in the upper 50s.  The day started out overcast, but the sun is shining brightly and I'm itching to get outside and enjoy the gorgeous weather while I can!

How about you?  What are you loving lately?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fighting the Funk

Hi! As I mentioned in my previous post, I haven't had much motivation lately. I've been going through the motions of half-assed workouts and haven't really been eating as well as I should. Truth be told, I feel like I'm in the worst shape I've been in a long time. I've been feeling very run down and I know it's due to my lack of healthy eating and exercise. Don't get me wrong. It's not like I've done a 180 and am not exercising and opting for fast food over healthier options. I'm just not exercising nearly as much as I should and I have been slacking in the well-rounded diet category.  Simply put: I'm in a funk.

With the holidays winding up, I have decided I would try to be more mindful and consistent about both my exercise and nutrition. Over the next six weeks, I will do my best to stay as active as possible, as well as making sure I am eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. I am taking a somewhat laid back approach to this because I need to be realistic.  My favorite holiday is in just over a week and that day really kicks off the holiday season... And indulgences.

To make sure I am staying balanced, and fighting the funk, I will keep the following tips in mind:
  • Get enough sleep  I know this seems pretty basic, but with so many holiday related activities, my sleep is usually the first thing to suffer
  • Have a snack  Another obvious one, but if I'm headed out to a party, I like to make sure I have a small snack shortly before leaving.  Choose something with protein and carbs to hopefully help keep your hunger under control.  This way, you can still enjoy delicious treats at the party, but not go crazy
  • Make exercise less of a chore  This may be the hardest one for me as lately, it seems any form of exercise is a chore.  Instead of going for a run, maybe enlist a few friends to go for a long walk.  Christmas lights will be up soon, so a walk through a decked out neighborhood may be just the thing!
  • Don't get down on yourself  Okay, this may be even harder than the previous tip.  It's so easy to get down on yourself for skipping a workout or eating something you normally wouldn't.  It really doesn't help you, so just move on and be more mindful next time
  • Friends  I don't mean the TV show, but that always helps!  Try and surround yourself with friends and family - I know being with my friends and family makes me happier, which is always a good thing.  It's okay to want your alone time, too, but make sure you get in a healthy dose of togetherness.
I'm hoping these tips will help me stay on track and eventually kick-start my missing motivation.  I am not typically one to wait until the new year to start a new fitness or eating routine, but I'm being realistic.  I am making small changes right now and I will reevaluate once January 1 gets a little closer.

What tips do you have for staying balanced?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hello. It's Me.

Oh, hey!  Remember me? I realize it's been months since I've posted. To be honest, I haven't felt vey motivated lately and I didn't think anyone would really want to read about how I have all these goals, but no motivation to work on them!

So here we are, 10 months since my last post and I'm in a much better place. I'm looking forward to blogging more regularly and sharing what my upcoming goals are.

And because I think this post needs a photo, here's one from my beautiful run yesterday. Chat soon!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

2015 Goals Check In - January

Are we already a week into February?  January flew by so quickly!  It may be partly due to the fact that I've been shoveling snow just about every weekend!  :)  Now that January is over, it's as good a time as any to check in with my 2015 goals.

  • My biggest goal was to just move more in general.  I am happy to report that I've walked to/from the train every work day.  This adds a little over a mile of walking each day. It doesn't sound like much, but at the end of the week, I've added about six miles of walking in addition to my workouts.
  • With the exception of one week, I've been getting in at least four workouts a week.  In addition to shoveling (yes, I count this as exercise!), I've been getting in runs and swims, as well as a few times on the elliptical.  I have to admit, with this snow I've been working from home at least once a week, which makes it much easier to get on the treadmill for a workout.  I've been extremely grateful for my treadmill this winter!
  • I'm hoping to continue my exercise streak and hopefully add in either an extra day or additional time to each workout.

  • For the most part, I have been sticking with my healthier eating plan.  I've been really good about prepping food on the weekends.  My favorite has been making breakfast burritos since they keep well in the fridge and they're so easy to heat and eat.  I just add some fruit and my breakfast is complete!
  • I did pretty well with no alcohol during the week.  I did make a few exceptions (work outings), but I made sure to limit myself to just two drinks.  This is an improvement, because I'd usually end up sipping three or more drinks while out with coworkers.  By limiting my alcohol intake, I also cut out the urge to snack on the greasy bar food that is usually ordered.

  • I think I did really well with this goal.  I barely spent any money over the past month and I really didn't notice I wasn't spending money!  I still had fun with my friends, but we opted for low cost, or free (swimming on a Friday night!) nights out, which definitely helped save money.
All in all, I think I have been doing really well with sticking with my goals.  I think it's because I didn't make huge, unattainable goals.  It's much easier to stick with small goals and personally, I feel like a champ when I am able to stick with my goals!

What about you?  Do you think it's easier to stick with your goals if they're small?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snow Day!

Happy Tuesday!  For those of you in the Northeast, I hope you're all staying safe and warm during the blizzard.  Since the train and roads were shut down for the day, I ended up working from home.  A random Tuesday where I don't have to get out of my PJs?  Sign me up!  I am bummed I couldn't play outside like we did as kids on snow days, but I was still happy!
After working for about seven hours, it was definitely time for a break.  I hopped on the treadmill (so grateful I have one on days like this!) and got in 4.5 miles - 3.5 running and 1 walking at an incline.  It felt good to get in a midday sweat session!

Sadly, the roads and public transit will be open tomorrow, so that means I will be heading into the office.  I'm just going to relax for the rest of my night and enjoy what's left of the snow day.  I won't even think about the two + feet of snow covering my car until this weekend!

Hope you have a great night!