Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sedona Sun Here I Come!

Get me out of here...

And get me here...FAST

Of course I've been stalking the weather, since earlier this week is was actually snowing in Sedona, but looks like the sun and warmer temps come back to play just in time for me to arrive...thank you Sedona...thank you!

The Sedona Half Marathon is on Saturday morning so I think we will have some super cool sunny temps to guide us through the hilly red rock scenery.  So, what about goals for this race?? I think this twitter convo between me and my travel buddy sum it up quite nicely...

I'm not sure what Sonia's PW is but mine is my first half marathon at 2:35.  I've gotten much speedier since then so it might be really hard to actually get a PW, but I'm sure going to try :).  This half also marks my 10th half marathon since I started running in 2008!

SO excited to see this lady and celebrate her BDAY this weekend!!

I'll be back next week with pictures of sun, red rocks and probably lots of wine and beer drinking.  In the meantime if you want to be jealous of me while I'm gone follow me on Instagram and Twitter!

AND...good luck to Sarah who is also running a half this weekend down in sunny can be jealous of her too!

QUESTION: Anyone else out there racing this weekend?  Or in my case, going on a slow 13.1 mile jog ;)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Final Countdown to Sedona!

So, remember when I was doing weekly recaps leading up to the Sedona Half coming up next weekend?  Yeah, me neither...sort of dropped the ball on that one, but I've honestly just been enjoying running whenever I feel like it and having fun.  My friend and running partner in crime and I decided we are just going to run this half for fun and stop along the way to take pictures of the gorgeous scenery I sort of stopped training :).

I can't even begin to imagine what this is going to look like in real life! (source)
I did do one significant workout that consisted of trying to copy the first 6 miles of the race on the treadmill.  It was hilly and hard, especially in a hot gym, so I'm counting on the cool air to help a bit in Sedona...that is good logic right?

That second climb was pretty darn hard and I had to walk some :(

What else have I been up to in an effort to not train for this race?

I went snowshoeing! It was a perfectly gorgeous Pacific Northwest day and my friend Molly introduced me to the wonders of snowshoeing after I received some as a x-mas gift my my dad.  It was a ton of fun after I figured out that you just have to walk like a normal person and dig in when you need some extra support.

I took a weekend trip to Portland to hang out with one of my best gal pals.  We basically ate brunch and chatted the whole was awesome!  I would highly highly recommend both places we went to.  Seeing these two photos next to each other has me laughing out loud because one is such a MEAT eaters dream and the other is completely VEGAN...but both were equally delicious!

Brunch #1 -  Charcoal smoked brisket, pepper slaw, fried egg, brioche from Clyde Common

Brunch #2 - Sweet potato and tempeh hash with coconut "bacon" on a bed of kale from Blossoming Lotus
And I went on one run while I was there...the day was just too beautiful not to.  My friend lives in a pretty hilly neighborhood so I guess this counts as a pretty good training run!

There has also been some Flywheeling and barre classes thrown in for good measure...I'm all about getting a total body workout wherever I can, especially if it means I don't have to run ;).

I've also been spending lots of time obsessing over Sedona weather and looking up hikes, wineries, and stuff to do while we are there...can I just be there already?!

Question: What is your favorite brunch dish/location? Hands down, Portage Bay in Seattle is my favorite!  Although the pretzelwich breakfast sandwich at Bravehorse Tavern comes in a close second.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Three Things Thursday - My LOVE for Flywheel Sports

After Tuesday's negative post about pv.body I felt like I needed to counterbalance that with something positive and downright awesome!

Of course, I've have professed my love for Flywheel in the past but thought I should elaborate on why you all should try it if you have one near you!  Plus the Seattle and Bellevue Flywheel studios both now have Flybarre.  I'm sure you've all heard of the Barre rage right now...yes? In a super nutshell it is a ballet inspired strength workout that mostly uses your bodyweight to do very small movements over and over and over again...until you feel like that body part might fall off.  Well Flybarre is Barre on steroids...really high energy, loud music steroids and it's awesome.
Seattle Flywheel studio (source)
Flybarre studio (source) are three reasons you should go try Flywheel and Flybarre RIGHT NOW!

1. You can't get this kind of workout on your own!
I don't care how hard you push yourself all alone there is no way you can do as good of a job as a sweaty 45 minutes on a Flywheel bike.  And in Flybarre your muscles are CONSTANTLY engaged and I challenge you to get through just one song with having to take a break.  You may grow to hate the word "pulse" but I promise all the pulsing is worth it.  The cardio push from Flywheel combined with the strength from Flybarre is a perfect combo.

When was the last time you burned 700 calories in 45 minutes?
2. Motivating instructors!
I don't want to talk a bad about any fitness instructors, but the spin and barre teachers at my regular gym having NOTHING on the Flywheel and Flybarre instructors.  Their instructors go through some serious training in order to work at Flywheel Sports and it shows.  Aina is far and away my favorite Flywheel torturer.  She is hilarious, motivational, and just a super cool chic.  I immediately fell in love with Aina and admitidly haven't tried many other instructors...but I'm certain they are all just as good!
Aina taught in that super tight banana skin suit for Halloween! (bottom left)

3. AMAZING customer service!
Over the past couple of weeks I took one Flybarre class and one Flywheel class and each time they exhibited amazing customer service.  I went to one of the free preview Flybarre classes since Bellevue just opened their studio last week.  In the beginning the instructor apologized for the "echo" in the microphone system and said they were working on it.  Honestly, I didn't notice a thing! After class she apologized again and said because of the "trouble" we would receive 2 Flybarre credits in our account. That is a $50 value folks!

Then the other night at Flywheel some riders forgot their water bottles.  Flywheel does not actually give out water bottles usually but they typically have some in case you forgot yours.  Well...they didn't have any left for the 6:30 class and instead of just apologizing for not having any they went out during the class, bought more water and brought it into the studio during the ride.

The entire staff is friendly and very helpful. They have lockers, snacks, showers, towels and everything you could possibly need (hair ties, tampons, body spray for after, etc).

If working out with other awesome ladies motivates you come Fly with me and other flygirls sometime.
Addicted after the first FLY (Rebecca, myself, Sarah, and Stacie)
Rebecca, Stacie, Sarah and I have been spreading the Flywheel love for a couple of months and we have convinced tons of other ladies to try it as well.

BONUS: As I was about to hit publish on this I noticed just wrote about Flywheel Sports...see others think it is pretty awesome too!

QUESTION: When are you going to try Flywheel Sports?  If you want to come pulse with me next week I'm planning on hitting up the Seattle studio for Flybarre on Tuesday at 5:30 and then spinning on Thursday at 6:30.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pv.Body Fails to Live Up to Promises

In case you don't want to read through my whole review and just trust whatever I say, don't join pv.body...unresponsive customer service and nowhere near enough experience to be growing at the rate they seem to be.

In case you haven't heard of pv.body, it is a monthly subscription services that promises to send you a workout outfit (top and a bottom) each month for $49.95 with a retail value of over $100.  Sounds good right?  Well I think this is a brilliant business idea but clearly they didn't execute it properly.

I signed up in late October after seeing it on a blog when the price was $39.95 a month and their website stated you would receive an outfit with a retail value of $150 or more (they have since removed this claim and gone down to the $100 figure).  You take a "style quiz" to determine what you like and request your size for a top and a bottom.  After browsing many blog reviews I determined that they pretty much send everyone the exact same thing based on what they have in inventory that styling there!

I was going to do a super long timeline outlining all the communications or lack thereof I had with pv.body trying to exchange the top they sent me but I'll keep it simple since the bottom line is the same...I DO NOT recommend this service.  Some details...

My first outfit arrived in early November.  LOVE LOVE the pants.  They are American Apparel athletic tights and I literally wear them everywhere.  They retail for $48.00. I also received a Nux tanktop that was WAY WAY too small and ridiculously unflattering.  The retail price of this tank was around $50.  WAY under their claim of a $150 value.

The website also claims exchanges are free and easy.  With relatively little pain I received a fedex label to return my top for a new one.  After NUMEROUS emails and claims that my exchange was "on it's way" I spoke to Justin, the customer service manager.  He apologized using a ton of excuses for why they were backed up and said a new shirt would be in the mail to me ASAP (this was at the end of December).  After I didn't receive a top or a response to two voicemails and another email in early January I emailed threatening to dispute the credit card charge with my bank.  THAT got their attention and I received a phone call from Justin.  Justin seems like a very nice person who is way in over his head.  He apologized to me on the phone but each apology was followed by an excuse as to why this wasn't processed properly the first time around.  He assured me (once again) that a top and some "extras" would be in the mail that week.

I FINALLY received a new shirt on January 14, a full 2 months and numerous emails and phone calls later. They threw in a water bottle and some hair tie things as well.  The top is long sleeve Colosseum (never heard of it) and has thumb holes and according to the tag retails for $34.  It is WAY too tight but I'm keeping it as a base layer.  Judging from the skin tight quality of the two tops I received, this service is geared more towards a VERY slender/fit person. value of my supposed to be $150 outfit was $83. NOT worth the hassle of the exchange I went through and ultimately not being 100% satisfied with my outfit.

Curent header on their website...I have yet to read any reviews from people who actually received Lululemon
There are a lot of reviews out there of pv.body on people's blogs but they are all ambassadors for the program (who receive commission from people they sign up) and have received much better service than I did.  I found a couple of blog reviews from people who aren't ambassadors who had somewhat similar experiences to mine: (positive review with a negative comment)

They claim many changes are coming so you can customize your outfit more and make exchanges super easy but it is too late for me, I canceled my service and will not be joining ever again. Maybe one day in the future they will have all the hiccups ironed out but my bet is that with all these customer service problems they won't get that far...too I said before...great business idea...poor execution!

QUESTION: Have you ever had a customer service issue like this?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Day I Scared the Sh*t Out of My Dog


So the funniest thing happened to me the other day and every time I think about it I laugh out loud.  I'm not the greatest story teller but hopefully you get a chuckle out it as well.

There is some background you all should know before the dog is the most nervous/anxious/excited car rider on the planet.  She has been since the first day I got her.  She usually stands up in the back seat whining, crying, sometimes barking and panting really loudly for the duration  of car rides.  If we get on the freeway for a long time she actually does lay down and relax...a little.  It is usually extremely embarrassing to go anywhere in the car with her and a friend...or worse her and a date (won't be making that mistake again!).
Are we going in the car? A run? Play ball?
For the most part I think it is pretty harmless. She is just ridiculously excited to get wherever we are going.  She MORE than willingly jumps into the car so I know she can't wait to see where we are going.  I have actually tried putting that Thundershirt thing on her that is supposed to calm even the most nervous dog is immune to that thing.

Okay, now to the story... which really isn't that aptly titled...I wouldn't say she was scared per se but when I told my mom the story she said "Oh man you literally scared the shit out of Stacey" I laughed so hard I had to repeat it for you all :).

Enter Monday evening...

Stacey and I were in the car on the way to Greenlake (popular Seattle running path) to meet a friend for a run.  The ride is only about 15 minutes and Stacey has been in the car for MUCH longer stretches than that.  She was in the back seat doing her usual whining, crying, huffing and puffing.  When we were about 5 minutes from the lake I suddenly notice she was really quiet and glance in my rear view mirror to see her pacing back and forth back and forth very quickly.  I thought "that is odd" and then she assumed "the position" dog owners all know what I'm talking about!  I quickly yelled "NO STACEY, NO!!" And to my surprise she actually stopped.  Okay, yelling that probably scared her...sorry Stace :).

LUCKILY, I was able to pull over right away. I didn't even turn the car off I just rushed out of my seat, opened the door and she came flying out to take the BIGGEST poop I have ever picked up in a patch of grass next to the car...PHEW...SO glad that didn't end up in my back seat.

As I'm picking it up I just start laughing really really hard.  I'm not sure why I thought it was so funny but I did and I still can't stop laughing about it.  What wasn't funny was the fact that I couldn't find a garbage can right away so I put the bag in my car and just the short drive to the lake was pure smelly torture.  I rolled down all the windows and when I got in my car this morning I swear I can still smell it a bit...YUCK!
She is lucky I think she is pretty darn cute!
Thankfully, we still met up with my friend and ran 3.5 miles together and amazingly Stacey still had enough left her in stomach for 2 more dumps! The story has a happy ending :).

I can count on one hand how many times Stacey has gone to the bathroom indoors since I've had her and it is always because it is an emergency so I can't imagine what she was feeling like in the backseat finally deciding that "what the hell, I'm just gonna go back here!"  I feel a little sorry for her because her  tummy must have been SOO upset.

Ah pets...always providing constant entertainment!

Question: Has your pet ever surprised you with something that made you laugh?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

4 Weeks Til Sedona Half Marathon

Happy New Year everyone!  My new year's week of training got off to a slow start with just a couple walks, but I picked it up towards the end of the week.  I decided I need more consistent strength training in my life so I'm going to be loosely following the Jamie Eason Live Fit program that I've done before.  The program really just provides easy to follow workouts to make sure I hit every muscle group.

Here is what I was up to on New Years week:

Monday - Doggy walk for NYE.  It was a nice day and I'm trying to walk Stacey daily for at least 20 minutes. We did a super long walk through Magnuson Park before I was off to do NYE festivities which included seeing Twlight Breaking Dawn Part 2 (don't judge!) and ringing in the new year with girlfriends.

Tuesday - Happy New Year...doggy walk.  I was actually feeling great from the festivities the night before and the sun was shining so bright so Stacey and I took off for a walk down the Burke Gilman trail.  I was SUPER lazy the rest of the day and capped off the day with a yummy meal at Pies and Pints...I highly recommend.

Wednesday - Chest/Triceps in the AM, 4 miles in the PM
Busted out a quick strength routine a the gym in the morning and got in 4 miles with the pup just before the sun set right after work.

Thursday - Legs strength routine

Friday - Back/Biceps plus treadmill sprints
After strength I warmed up on the treadmill for a mile at 6.0 then bumped it up to between 8.0-8.5 and completed 15, 30 second sprints with 30 seconds rest in between on the side of the treadmill.  Finished the run with 5 minutes at 6.0 to make a 30 minute workout.

Saturday - Shoulders and Abs
I didn't actually do the abs on this workout but did a routine with the Nike Training Club app that was pretty decent.

Sunday - 10.5 mile run with Sarah and Lauren
Sarah and I already had plans for 10 miles after we had so much fun together last week and when Lauren asked on Twitter for some running buddies to run 10 miles at a 9:30-10:30 pace it was a match made in heaven.  Lauren is a cool chick (and not just because we share a name) and is training for the Paris cool is that.  10.5 miles went by fast with these ladies and we even had to take a slight medical break due to a spill poor Lauren took by tripping over a rock :(.

Question: Did anyone start their New Year's off with a workout?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Race Bib Bag - You Know You Want One!

Molly and I modeling our bags.  She is cute, funny, athletic and creative...all around awesome gal!
Quick...think about where all your precious race bibs are?!   If you were like me, chances are they were all stacked up sitting on a bookshelf collecting dust and every time you glanced over at them you thought "man I wish there was something I could do with those!"

Well wait no longer...I have the perfect solution that allows you to display you most precious race bibs and brag a little when you model it around town.  My awesome, talented friend, Molly, makes these bags in her spare time and honestly loves hand sewing each one.  She takes care in the placement of each bib on the bag to display each of your accomplishments with style.

from Molly's Etsy shop
She is the most generous friend as well and offered to make me a bag if I pimped her out on my blog...SWEET DEAL! So...I handed over my stack of race bibs to have Molly work her magic on them. I put them in order of importance so she would have an idea which ones to feature on the front.  Funny enough, I didn't put my 1st half marathon bib in any sort of important spot but it ended up being right under my 1st marathon bib!  Of course, my Ragnar bibs were high up in the pile so the orange is peaking through everywhere...LOVE!
I spy Nuun Kids on the Block!
I've taken my bag out in public a couple times and have received compliments and questions from people each time.  It is a great conversation starter!  Every time I see it hanging on the corner of my bedpost I think about memories from all my races.

You want one now right?  Well Molly would love to have some new customers!  She honestly just LOVES making these bags and really pours her whole heart into making sure it is perfect for you. Here are the deets you need to know:

  • A large tote (like mine above) requires about 20 bibs and costs $85.00
  • A smaller book size tote requires 10-12 bibs and costs $55.00
  • You can contact Molly through her Etsy shop or at
  • You do have to use the actual bib, no copies.  The bag is literally made with the bibs and a canvas liner so they maintain their original feel.

And the BEST part is...

The FIRST person to email her and order a bag who mentions this blog post gets 20% off their bag.  All others will get 10% off.  

Question: Where are your race bibs? Are you going to email Molly right now and order one?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

5 Weeks Til Sedona Half Marathon

So, yeah these recaps are coming a little late but here you go! Or more like here I go since these are mostly for me anyways ;).

Here is what happened the week of Christmas!

Monday - REST
And boy did I rest.  Activities for this Christmas Eve included pedicures with a friend, a casual dinner with the fam and watching the Hobbit that evening

Tuesday - 3 miles plus park workout with pup
Merry Christmas! After breakfast it started snowing pretty heavily and I have no idea what motivated me to actually go for a run but I did.  It was cold and wet but the pup and I ran 3 quality miles together and stopped at a nearby park to do some pushups, tricep dips, and lunges.

Wednesday - REST
Drove back to Seattle and got settled back into a normal, non holiday life :(.

Thursday - Gym circuit
Since I'm not rich and can't afford to join Riley Athletics for life I decided to do my own circuit at the gym.  My gym is pretty awesome and has virtually every type of machine or piece of equipment you need so I did the circuit from week 6 Thursday minus the battle ropes.

Friday - 4 mile run with pup
You know, I don't really remember much about this run so it must have been uneventful!

Saturday - Barre Class
Went to a barre class at my gym to get some strength in. The instructor is also a dancer and she graced us with some awesome hip hop moves while we did wall sits.

Sunday - 8 mile run with Sarah at 9:40 pace
Yeah for fun running friends!  This was actually the first time Sarah and I hung out one and one and it was really nice to get to know her better.  She has been having glute issues lately and for the first time in a while she was pain free during our run...pretty sure I was her lucky charm. We just ran and chatted around Lake Union and the run FLEW by!

Love how bright we were!
Less than 5 weeks until I go to Sedona!!  Cannot WAIT!

Question: Have any of you been to Sedona? What else should I do there besides run? :)