Friday Five #13

Beauty, Food, Life

We have made it to the weekend once again! I don’t know about you, but 3 day weekends always throw me off the following week — I never know which day it is, and it’s even worse now that all the days seem to blend together anyway! I’m glad that it’s Friday, though, and another weekend is upon us.

Speaking of 3 day weekends, this is my last 2 day weekend for awhile, as my job does “Summer Fridays” in June and July, where we have Fridays off but have to work four 10-hour days. I’m honestly not thrilled at the prospect of those longer work days, especially because it means I have to wake up at least an hour earlier (5 am vs. 6 am) to fit in my run before work, but I am pumped for 3 day weekends all summer long. And I’m thankful that at least for now, I’m working from home so no 2-hour commute to add to already long days!

Enough about work, let’s get to the good stuff from this week!

1) Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Shoes

I mentioned in one of my Friday Five posts last month that I got new trail running shoes. Well, I’ve already put about 250 miles on them since then, and it’s recommended that you only keep shoes for 500 miles or so. I decided to order another pair (actually two 🙈) to be able to actually rotate my running shoes and not wear the same ones on every run, so my Terra Kigers (the first new pair) can last longer because I love them.

I decided to try out the Nike Pegasus 36 Trail, one of 3 trail shoes in Nike’s lineup. It’s supposed to be a road/trail hybrid and I think it’ll be best for the runs I do on more groomed dirt paths and easy, sandy trails. I’ll be saving the Terra Kigers for rockier, more technical trails.

Nike’s colorways got me like😍

I started breaking them in this week and they feel good and fit well, plus they’re a pretty purple/maroon color that won’t show dirt as much as my light pink Terra Kigers.

I’ve never actually had more than one pair of running shoes at once so having 3 pairs (plus a fourth on the way, oops!) seems kinda crazy but I think being able to rotate them will be worth it! I’ve read articles saying it’s good to have more than one pair (and type) of running shoe in your arsenal to prevent injury, so I’m hoping that holds true!

New shoes on their maiden voyage!

2) Trader Joe’s Watermelon Overnight Face Mask

Trader Joe’s may be better known for their snacks than their beauty products but they seem to be a hidden gem for affordable skincare!

This face mask is actually the first I’ve tried from their skincare line and I love it. It reminds me of the Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask from Glow Recipe that I’ve also used, but at a much lower price point.

The packaging is cute too!

It smells delicious, goes on smoothly and doesn’t seem to make me break out. I’ve been using it nightly since I bought it last weekend and I know it’s gonna be a staple in my nighttime skin routine!

3) Trader Joe’s Pickled Fermented Jalapeños

Two TJs products in one post? I mean, I love TJs so why not? I also love all things spicy and fermented (kimchi and sauerkraut, yes please) so these were sure to be a winner!

And they are! They’re actually spicier than typical pickled jalapeños which I appreciate but they’re not overly fermented, just a touch to add some vinegar-y interest.

I’ve been eating the jalapeños on top of everything, even straight outta the jar!

I plan on adding another jar to my cart the next time I hit up Trader Joe’s because you never know when one of their products will disappear!

4) This Article About the Dark Side of INFJ

On a more serious note, I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately about dealing with mental illness during this pandemic and caring for your mental health, etc. This article from Introvert Dear isn’t about mental illness/health per se, but as someone who strongly identifies as an INFJ (Myers-Briggs personality type), this article really spoke to me about how I’ve been handling stress during these unprecedented times.

I’ve noticed that I tend to bottle up my negative emotions, then let them explode out when they become too much to handle. That’s not a healthy way to cope, but I always want to try to put on a brave face, even when I’m crumbling inside. I also tend to be stubborn and not respond well to sudden changes — I like to plan things out and when plans change, it upsets me. It was interesting reading the article and nodding along to every thing, like yup, that’s totally me.

While everyone says we need to worry about how the extroverts are handling this health crisis, us introverts are not immune from the struggles that come with social distancing, and honestly, extroverts basically rule the world anyway so why not show a little extra kindness to the introverts who may be having a hard time coping, too!

5) Olipop

I’ve already mentioned my love for Olipop on here I’m sure, but I wanted to share about their amazing customer service!

I pre-ordered their new cherry vanilla flavor (Olipop makes prebiotic soda that’s good for your digestive health and tastes incredible with only 2 grams of sugar) a few weeks back and hadn’t received an update but I wasn’t worried as I figured they were flooded with orders and couldn’t ship them yet.

This email made my day week!

Then this week, I received an email saying they were backed up and orders wouldn’t ship until mid-June, which is still totally fine, but then they also offered a code for a FREE 12 pack, just for being patient. I wasn’t expecting that but it made me love them even more! And now I have a variety pack on the way, with the cherry vanilla coming next month.

Share with me one company you love that has awesome customer service! Are you a spicy fan or a wimp? I have always loved spicy foods so I jokingly think people who can’t handle them are wimps but I know some can’t tolerate the heat — more for me!

The Rundown (5/18-5/24): Trail Love

Life

Happy Monday & Happy Memorial Day! I’m so thankful for this extra day off work, and no Sunday Scaries this week (instead, it’s Monday Scaries 😉)

I am still loving my morning running routine, though it may be switching up again soon. My workplace does “summer Fridays” in June and July so we have Fridays off but have to work 40 hours in 4 days, aka 10 hour workdays. That part’s not so fun, but it’s a little more doable now that I’m working from home & don’t have a 2 hour round trip commute. But my boss says I have to be available (with access to my computer) between 7:30 am and 5:30 pm, sooooo that means even earlier wake ups to fit in a run before work, because currently I start my runs around 7:30 am. Ugh, not excited about waking up at 5 or 5:30, but I do love getting my run done first thing before it gets really really hot, so we’ll see if I can swing it. If not, I’ll go back to runs after work. This means I’ll probably move my long run day to Fridays since I’ll be off work and will have more time to run.

This week, I hit yet another PDR (personal distance record) by running 54 miles! Running just feels so good right now and I want to embrace that while I can. Since I have more time to run (without having to commute), I want to do it as much as possible before my work situation changes again.

Monday

Another Monday long run, this time 10 miles! I love that I can now run double digit mileage, as I continue working toward being able to run a half marathon (not in a race but on my own).

Love this “hidden” oasis!

This was my first day of running at my earlier time of 7:30 and it wasn’t too bad. There were maybe a few more people at the park I ran at, but by the end of the run, I saw almost no one.

Post run happiness.

Other Workouts: 3 mile walk after work (1 mile of that was with Honey I think in the evening), 7 minute wall sit.

Tuesday

Tuesday kicked off my nearly weeklong streak of running 7 miles. It just kinda happened that way! I ran at Riparian Preserve, per my Tuesday tradition as of late. One bright spot of this run was when an older man said to me as I ran past him (for the second time), “You must be training for something!” I think I replied, “Nope I just love running!” which is true.

Another desert oasis park I love!

Other Workouts: 2 mile post-work walk, 7 minute wall sit.

Wednesday

I decided to do my “hill workout” on Hump Day rather than Friday. I went to the park that has some great inclines for hill repeats. I planned on running 5 miles, ended up with 7. A weird thing that happened during my run was a couple miles in, my calves felt tight and sore and then my left foot went numb for about a mile, and then everything felt good again after that. I’ve experienced the numbness in the past, but usually it signaled I needed a new pair of shoes, and I’ve only been wearing my current pair for a month. So who knows?

I found a friendly snake to take a selfie with 🐍

Other Workouts: 2 mile walk, 10 minute wall sit.

Thursday

#wildmiles day is the best! Per usual, I went to Usery Mountain Regional Park to run mine. The desert trails were beautiful as always…except when I ate shit about 5ish miles in. I stepped off the trail to let mountain bikers pass and then as soon as I started up again, I tripped on a rock and fell. My right shin sustained some serious road rash (erm, trail rash) but it was still a good run. 7.3 miles total — I usually don’t run weird distances but I didn’t feel like going to 7.5 😅

A beautiful cactus blossom I spotted on the run.

Other Workouts: 2 mile walk after work, 7 minute wall sit.

Friday

Thankfully, this Friday was a better day work-wise than the previous Friday. My trail run was just as good, and again at Usery. I actually planned on only running 5 or 6 miles, but I didn’t realize how far out the trails I took went, so I ended up with 7 miles, and then added 0.2 to round up to a half mile between Thursday and Friday. There were a lot more mountain bikers today, but no falls!

A gorgeous desert morning.

Other Workouts: 2 mile walk on my own + 1 mile walk with Honey at night, 7 minute wall sit.

Saturday

Ahhh, sleeping in feels so good! I slept until about 8:30 and had a bit of a lazy morning before taking Honey for a walk. I left for my run around 11 am and drove about half an hour to a trailhead just outside Lost Dutchman State Park in the Superstition Mountains. I hadn’t run on these trails in more than a month and I was excited for time in the Supes.

One of my all-time favorite running views!

There were a few cars at the trailhead but I saw absolutely no one on my 7 mile run, which never happens. It was glorious!

Other Workouts: About a mile walk with Honey (she enjoys sniffing so it takes awhile for us to get anywhere)!

Sunday

I woke up a bit earlier, around 8 am, eager to run. After a walk with Honey and my mom, I headed out to run at Bulldog Saddle, just outside Usery. I saw one person, a hiker, at the very beginning but I had the trails to myself after that. I did my typical hill workout running up and down the saddle and then added on the connecting Wild Horse trail, with a lot of running through a wash with deep sand — hello leg workout! I only needed 4.5 miles to reach 50 for the week, but like usual, I kept on running and ended with 8.5 miles! The best part — I had just enough water to finish my run.

More stunning views!

Other Workouts: 1.5 mile walk with Honey.

Do you sleep in on weekends — if so, how late? I used to sleep until 9 am but usually now 8:30 is the latest and 8 am is more typical. Have you ever eaten shit while running? I’m (not) ashamed to admit it happens to me more often than it probably should, like at least once a month!

Friday Five #12

Beauty, Food, Life

Happy Friday and happy long weekend to my U.S. friends! I am ridiculously excited for this 3 day weekend — not that I have any plans (thanks corona — originally I was supposed to visit my sister in Denver this weekend but obviously that isn’t happening right now) but just to have an extra day off. Work has been killing me lately and I’m in need of a bit more of a break than a typical weekend.

I’ve got a few favorites to share this week so let’s check them out!

1) St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Vitamins Bronzing Face Serum

I’ve been using St. Tropez tanning products for over a year now (I love their watermelon infusion tanners) but had yet to try one of their facial products. My skin sometimes breaks out when I use new things on it, but I’m sick of my face being paler than the rest of my body (my legs and arms have been getting tanner since I’ve been outside running so much, but my face didn’t get the memo) so I finally ordered their bronzing face serum during Sephora’s semi-annual sale last month.

My go-to tanning products!

I’ve been using it daily for more than a week and the results are exactly what I hoped for. It gives me a nice glowy tan that doesn’t look fake and more closely matches the rest of my skin. It doesn’t have that fake tanner smell (which tbh I actually like) but has a slight peachy scent which is delicious.

A small bottle costs $30, which seems pricey but a little goes a very long way!

2) Elenita Sparkling Mezcal Cocktail

Anyone else get sucked into those tempting Instagram ads? Guilty 🙋🏻‍♀️ But sometimes, I would have never found out about a product or brand if I didn’t see the ad.

Like this sparkling mezcal cocktail. I loooooove mezcal and had no idea there was a company out there making a hard seltzer-like drink with it! I saw an Instagram ad for it on Cinco de Mayo of all days, with a promo code for 50% off an order of two cases, and I was in!

Ugh so good!

They took maybe a week at most to ship out and be delivered (which isn’t long at all in this new age of shipping taking forever), probably because they only had to travel from San Diego, but I was ready to dive in once they arrived!

Elenita currently comes in two flavors — pineapple jalapeño and cucumber lime basil. Guess which one I tried first? 🍍

Tbh I was excited to try both flavors, and they were equally delicious. They’re not really sweet at all, but definitely have that smoky mezcal flavor I love that’s complemented by the pineapple/jalapeño and cucumber/lime/basil. The pineapple jalapeño is my fav only because I love spicy things, but I enjoy both and hope they release new flavors!

I also hope they start selling them beyond SoCal soon, but if you’re in the area, it’s sold at a lot of liquor stores so go try it — or just order it online like me!

3) The Masked Singer Finale

I don’t watch many TV shows, but The Masked Singer is one I’ve tuned into every episode since the beginning! I love the twist on the classic singing competition and it’s just fun to see the reveals at the end of each episode.

So much tension and excitement!

Season 3 wrapped up this week and the finale was not what I expected — in a good way! I won’t give any spoilers in case you haven’t seen it yet (if you’re watching) but there’s plenty of articles about it online. I’m already counting down the days til the next season, which won’t be til the fall 😭 One thing that was really cute about the finale was a dog in the audience that was dressed up to look like each of the final 3 masked singers 😍

4) Beyond Breakfast Sausage

I’m not a huge Beyond Burger fan. I know, I might as well turn in my vegan card 😉 I just don’t love how similar it is to meat, though I know many plant-based people enjoy it for that reason.

But I was curious when I saw Beyond Meat released a breakfast sausage. I tend to prefer vegan sausages to burgers anyway and I’ve been wanting to find a spicy breakfast sausage, so that’s the flavor I picked up when I went to Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago.

Y-U-M!

I finally cooked up a patty as part of a “breakfast for dinner” I made earlier this week and WOW! It was really good. It got a bit greasier than I would have liked (I sautéed it with a spritz of coconut oil spray) but I was able to dab it off with a paper towel after cooking. The texture is great — meaty but not in a creepy way — and the flavor is good — not too salty, with a bit of a kick.

I’m not sure if these are sold anywhere other than WF but I’ll be keeping an eye out at Sprouts the next time I go!

5) National Rescue Dog Day

And ICYMI (I almost did) — Wednesday was National Rescue Dog Day! I love my rescue girl, Honey, and I will always be an advocate for #adoptdontshop. Adopting a dog from a rescue or shelter literally saves a life and even many lives, as it makes more room in the shelter for dogs who need to be taken in from abusive situations or from living on the streets.

I don’t get why people go to breeders to get their dogs, when there are already millions of rescue dogs waiting patiently for a new home. If you’re considering getting a dog, please research options for adopting a rescue dog, rather than buying from a breeder.

I’m so blessed to have this beautiful rescue pup in my life!

If I hadn’t adopted Honey, she probably wouldn’t be alive today, and I know she’s forever grateful for have a loving home with her furever family 💕

Did you watch The Masked Singer finale — if so, who did you think would win & who did you think was under the mask? Have you ever tried vegan sausage?

Lessons Learned In 180 Miles

Life

180 miles. The distance from Phoenix to Nogales, Mexico. A nearly 3 hour drive…or roughly 28 hours and 39 minutes on foot.

No, I didn’t actually run from Phoenix to Mexico but I did run that distance in April, which happens to be my highest mileage month ever.

April was my first month using Strava, too!

I went into April after running my then-highest mileage month ever in March (146 miles, well above my previous monthly distance record of 136 miles, set in May 2019) and I had a small goal in the back of my mind: run at least 150 miles in April. I wasn’t sure if it would happen, as I spent most of March not working (I worked the first week, then had spring break for a week, and then didn’t return for two more weeks due to coronavirus, before finally starting my new work from home life), and now I had less free time. But I figured, I only had to average 37.5 miles per week to hit 150, and I was finally regularly running 30+ mile weeks.

So I figured it would take some extra work, but I was up to the challenge. At the same time, I wanted to listen to my body. I struggled with Achilles/ankle pain for most of the second half of 2019 and had to cut back on my mileage significantly after August (when I ran 132.5 miles), and didn’t hit 100+ miles in a month again until January 2020. So it was a slow build-up but I was feeling solid and wanted to keep riding that high.

I typically run 5 days a week, with 2 days off for cross training, typically a hike or long walk or occasionally the elliptical. In April, I ran at least 6 days a week, and only took 2 days off from running, which honestly seems crazy now, but I think I needed it mentally — not just to know I can do it, but because April was a tough month emotionally and I needed an outlet.

I also ran more higher mileage days in April than I used to. I only ran double digits for the first time ever back in February, and I ran my third ten mile run in April. Mondays became my default long run day for some reason, and I ran at least 8 miles each Monday in April.

Long runs make me happy 😊

Enough with the stats 🤓 Let’s get to the lessons I learned in 180 miles!

1) Shorter Mileage Runs Can Be Harder Than Long Runs

My long runs weren’t effortless, but sometimes I felt like I could keep going. Whereas with some of my shorter (4-5 mile) weekend runs, I couldn’t wait for them to be over.

This 4 mile run felt tougher than my 10 milers!

I’m not sure what it is, but sometimes short runs can be just as tough or tougher than the long runs. Maybe it has something to do with…

2) The Heat Takes Some Adjustment

I love running in Arizona and I’m pretty heat tolerant. But each year, in April, I find myself wondering why I choose to torture myself this way 😂

I have been running in hot (& sometimes humid conditions) since I started running (hello, Tulsa summers!) but that doesn’t mean I’m used to the heat once it returns. After a winter and early spring of cooler temps (think: below 80s, which is still warm to most people), it takes some time to readjust. Usually about a week or two of temps above 95, and then I’m good to go.

A post-work run that wasn’t that hot, thanks to the cloud cover.

Yes, I’ve now switched to running in the morning to escape the heat of the day, but I also loved my pre-sunset runs and now that it’s getting hotter, fewer people are using the trails in the late afternoon/early evening.

My toughest runs of the year so far were my shorter weekend runs when I slept in a bit and didn’t get out for a run until 10:30 or 11. Hello, heat! Late morning runs are a no-go in the summer, so I’m either gonna have to get up earlier or push my weekend runs until later in the day, like I would on weekdays. Or just push through and realize I’m not gonna be able to run as far as I can during the week.

3) Don’t Skimp on Strength Training

Am I a bad runner because I typically forego strength training? I admit I’m more of a cardio queen and if something doesn’t get my heart rate up or my scenery doesn’t change (like with walks or hikes), I get bored easily. So strength training isn’t my jam.

But with WFH, I have more time and space in my day to make room for strength training in a way that works for me. That means doing a few minutes of strength (body weight and using my 8 lb dumbbells or my resistance bands) workouts each hour of my workday. This keeps me from being bored and I love doing a few new moves every hour. I’ve also been incorporating wall sits each workday, and I hold them for at least 5 minutes, all the way up to 10. Talk about feeling the burn 🔥

Wall sits are SO much fun!

I’ve noticed my runs feel a bit easier and I feel more stable on the trails since I’ve incorporated strength training, so now I don’t wanna skimp on it ever again!

4) I’m Hungrier After a Shorter Run Than a Longer Run

Heat totally kills my hunger, which can be a bummer. I hate feeling full, especially after eating a small portion, but I know I need to eat to fuel my runs, so I try my best.

But long runs also totally kill my hunger. In April, I finished my runs around 6:30 or later, and got home in time for my typical dinner time of 7:30 or so (after showering). If I ran long (usually 8+ miles), I struggled to even want to eat dinner. Sometimes I don’t, and wait a couple hours to eat a snack before bed. It’s not ideal, but it is what it is.

Sometimes all I’m in the mood for after a hot run is banana soft serve 🍌

I usually feel hungry if I keep my runs under 8 miles, but again, it also depends on the heat.

I like my weekend runs because I never eat until 1 pm or later anyway, so I don’t eat before my mid-morning run and I wait an hour or two after running to “break the fast” so I never feel like I’m forcing myself to eat. Unfortunately, this doesn’t really work for weekday post-work runs, but maybe if I can shift to morning runs, I’ll be fine.

5) Buffs & Hats Are Lifesavers

I started out as a minimal runner back in 2014, when I would only carry my phone (for music) and my keys on runs. Now I shake my head at how I thought it was a good idea to run in the Tulsa humidity without water, but I’ve definitely become less minimal over the years. If I leave my neighborhood to run (which I do most days), I carry my phone, keys, a hydration pack filled with water/bandaids and now I’ve even added a couple new accessories — a Buff and a baseball hat (some days).

Keeping cool (ish) in my Buff and hat!

These pieces of headgear are actually crucial to my running enjoyment, though. I soak my Buff in cold water and put it around my neck to keep me cool on hot runs, and when I wear a hat, the brim helps block some sunlight (along with my sunglasses). I swear, I’m always running into the setting sun and can barely see 😅

I spent about $20 each on these pieces, but they are absolutely vital and priceless!

Runners: what’s your monthly PDR (personal distance record)? Are you hangry after a run or not so much?

The Rundown (5/11-5/17): Hard Week, Good Runs

Life

Hey hey how’s it going for you on this Monday? I can’t believe Memorial Day is a week away — it’s earlier than usual this year and May has been going by so fast! I can’t complain though because I’m ready for a longer weekend, even if I have no solid plans.

Last week was tough for me, on the work front. It actually started out fine but by Thursday and Friday, it was a shitshow. I’ve had struggles with my current job on and off since I started a year and a half ago, and I feel like my time in this role may come to an end soon, whether I get laid off or I quit and take a new job. It’s hard to find people hiring right now, at least in my industry, so I’m going to try my best to grit my teeth and power through the tough days. It’s really mentally taxing though, when you feel like you aren’t a valued member of a team, and your boss isn’t understanding at all and a total control freak. I’ve worked for too many bosses that micromanage and I realize that I can’t get along with people who work that way. My last boss was really the only person I’ve worked for who wasn’t this way, and I really enjoyed working for and with him. I just need to find another role like that!

Anyways, the work stress fueled my highest running mileage week yet — I hit 51 miles in 7 days of running. I’ve kept up the running streak for now because it helps me deal with the stress and anxiety and it feels really awesome to knock out a good run. We’ll see how long I can keep it going!

Monday

Like I said at the beginning of last week’s Rundown post, I ran 11 miles before work — my longest run yet! It felt hella good to accomplish that, especially on a Monday, and especially when going into the run, I didn’t feel so strong. Nothing like a good long run to start the week off right!

Water in the desert!

Other Workouts: 2 mile walk after work & 7 minute wall sit in the middle of my workday.

Tuesday

Tuesdays should be a recovery type run after a Monday long run, but they haven’t been lately, oops 😬 I ran 7.5 miles at the Riparian Preserve because my legs just felt good enough to keep going. Honestly, if I had had more time, I might have made this another longish run.

Good mood miles.

Other Workouts: 2 mile walk in the neighborhood after work, 6 minute wall sit.

Wednesday

I took my hump day run to the trails and knocked out 6 miles. The first two-ish were in a wash (basically a dry riverbed that has deep sand) which gave me quite a leg workout. I actually ran in washes a lot this week (sometimes unintentionally) because some of my favorite trail running areas happen to have lots of washes.

Desert running makes me happy!

Washes are great because bikes can’t really ride in them, so I don’t have to worry about almost becoming road kill by a speeding mountain biker, and few people use them anyway, so it’s easy to social distance!

Other Workouts: 2 mile post-work walk, *10* minute wall sit 🔥

Thursday

This is when shit started to hit the fan, though it was still mostly ok. I ran my #wildmiles as a hill interval workout at my go-to trail for that. I love this trail because it’s unexpectedly tough (the first 1.5 miles is a gradual incline) but the views are incredible at the top, and then it’s fun to come flying down! Another 7.5 mile #trailtherapy run.

Dirt & vert ❤️

Other Workouts: 2.5 mile walk after work (I tried to walk with Honey and she wasn’t having it, so we did about half a mile together and I took her back home and finished on my own), 7 minute wall sit.

Friday

I was already a bit stressed when I woke up but I pushed it aside and focused on my run, which I did on some of my favorite desert trails. Almost as soon as I finished 7 miles, my boss called me and was super upset. Also, she seemed mad that I wasn’t at home but I wasn’t on the clock at the time and I’m only supposed to work 8 hours a day anyway — I was using my run time as my unpaid “lunch”. It really soured the rest of my day ☹️

If only I could spend all day on these trails instead of dealing with work bullshit. Maybe I should become a park ranger…

Other Workouts: 2 mile walk after work listening to new music (I needed this mentally) + 1 mile walk with Honey and my parents after dinner, 7 minute wall sit.

Saturday

After spending Friday night trying to forget the stress of my work week (my mom and I watched Yesterday which was a really good movie), I was ready for my weekend. Saturday was my mom’s birthday, so we kicked off the festivities with a 3.5 mile hike at Usery Mountain Regional Park. My parents hadn’t seen the saguaro blossoms yet this year (I’ve been running there at least twice a week for the past month, so I have) so that was a nice treat for them.

Saguaro blossom close-up.

When we came home, I headed out for a run in the neighborhood. I only run in the ‘hood once a week at most, because I’ve just gotten bored of it, but no one else was out at all when I was running (that’s because it was noon and in the upper 90s) so that was nice. I got through 5 very sweaty miles.

The rest of the day was spent poolside and then we grabbed takeout from a local pizza place and got some wine to-go for my mom’s birthday dinner, and we also enjoyed some time around the fire pit — even though it was in the upper 80s at night!

It’s still weird not going out to eat but getting takeout is fun!

Sunday

I started Sunday off with about a 1.5 mile walk with Honey, and then got ready for my run. I only had to run 6 miles to get at least 50 miles in for the week, but I ended up running 7! I headed out with the intention of running at a new-to-me trail in the same area as my favorite hill training trail, but couldn’t seem to find the trail head BUT I still ran on a new-to-me part of a trail I’ve been on before, and the only people I saw were in the parking lot. I don’t recommend running after 11 am in Arizona in May, but sometimes it pays off, and I made sure to stay hydrated!

I live for trail runs with just me, my music and my thoughts.

I ran some errands (Sprouts & Target) after my run and then spent time by the pool again.

I’m hoping for a better week work-wise this week, but I can’t really beat last week’s runs — here’s hoping for more good runs this week!

How have you been coping with work from home (if you are)? I actually enjoy the no commute but I feel like the workload is exponentially increased! What’s your favorite type of running workout? I don’t do much speed work but I love hill intervals!

Friday Five #11

Food, Life

How are we halfway through May already? It seems like time would slow down while being stuck at home for 8+ weeks, but the weeks have mostly flown by. I’m not complaining because I’m hopeful that some things in life will return to normal soon-ish and I’ll have fun things to look forward to again.

Anyways, here are some things I’m loving this week!

1) Amazing Grass Green Superfood Beauty Effervescent Greens

I love my veggies but some days I’m not sure if I get enough, so I’ve been making sure I drink my greens daily. Mostly I’ve been using the HUM Nutrition greens powder, which tastes like mint chip ice cream, but I was running low on it and Sephora (where I bought it from) sold out of it and is slow to ship packages now, so I decided to try out the Effervescent Greens tablets from Amazing Grass, that I found at Whole Foods last weekend.

I’d actually tried a couple of the other flavors before (pink lemonade and watermelon lime) but the blueberry sounded intriguing so I grabbed that one. And it was a good choice because it’s absolutely delicious!

Each tablet has a full serving of greens & veggies!

I drink mostly water during the day (with an occasional kombucha at night) so I like to switch it up and these are a good way to spice up plain water while also boosting my veggie intake.

2) Miyoko’s Creamery Pepper Jack Shreds

This is another Whole Foods find that wouldn’t have happened if the store had been stocked up on Follow Your Heart vegan Parmesan. I love that stuff and have been trying to track it down unsuccessfully for the past few weeks.

Whole Foods didn’t have it either, but the new Miyoko’s vegan cheese shreds caught my eye and I added a bag to my cart. Aaaaand now I have a new favorite vegan cheese!

I made vegan cheesy bread by topping a toasted slice of grain free rosemary bread with Miyoko’s butter and the cheese shreds.

I’m actually not a huge fan of most vegan cheeses (looking at you, Daiya) but for this and the FYH, I’ll make an exception. This cheese has a bit of a kick (from the pepper) and it melts pretty well, which is hard for a vegan cheese. I wish this was sold at Sprouts so I could buy it more often!

3) Outdoor Voices

I’d been eyeing the cute workout gear from Outdoor Voices for more than a year and finally decided to order some when I got a discount code & the pieces that I wanted also happened to be on sale!

I got the Doing Things Bra and Hudson Shorts, both in paprika blooms. I ordered them last Thursday and they were delivered earlier this week, which is super fast, especially right now. I wore them on a trail run yesterday and I am loving both pieces! The bra is made for sweat-wicking which is super important to me, and is also very supportive (not as important, since I’m only an A cup and my boobs don’t really bounce even when I’m running). The shorts are easy to move in and fit perfectly.

My new OV set holds up well on trail runs!

I wish OV had more patterns available because I would snatch up even more of both of these pieces, but they’re running low on a lot of their sports bras and shorts, so snap them up fast if you want them!

4) Pick-Up Lines for Runners Meme

Idk about you, but humor is getting me through this time. If I didn’t laugh, I would cry so I love anything funny to distract me from reality.

I recently started following the account, Trail GangstAZ on Instagram, and I love their content. They shared a great meme post earlier this week about Pick-Up Lines for Runners in the Age of Covid-19 and they were hilarious!

These were two of my favorite lines!

5) SiriusXMU Session with soccer mommy

I love these one-on-one in-studio sit down sessions that SiriusXM hosts! Obviously all of them now were recorded a few months ago, but it’s fun to listen to them and hear stripped down performances.

I first heard of soccer mommy a couple years ago with the song “Your Dog” and I really liked singer Sophia Allison’s voice — it’s “chill but kinda sad” as she says on her website. She (and her band) are out with a new album Color Theory and I got to hear a few songs from it that I hadn’t heard before.

Now I’m kind of obsessed with her music and the song I’m loving the most is “lucy” — give it a listen and lemme know what you think!

What musical artist are you loving right now? When it comes to workout gear, do you prefer solid colors or patterns?

The Rundown (5/4-5/10): Schedule Shift

Life

Happy Monday friends! I am in a good mood because it’s a beautiful day AND I went for my longest run ever this morning — 11 miles! I’m working up to be able to run a half marathon (not in a race, just a self-supported trail run) by the end of the summer so I’m working on getting my long runs even longer.

Last week was my first week shifting my running schedule back to mornings, and it wasn’t as rough as I thought it would be! Let’s get to it:

Monday

As I mentioned in last week’s rundown post, I ran 10 miles for my “long run Monday”. I again ran at the same park as I’ve been running at every Monday for the past month or so and had a pretty great run. It started off tough mentally, as I wasn’t used to running so early (aka, before 9 am, so not all that early) but I found my groove and once I hit 7 miles, I knew I could keep going to reach 10.

Last of the prickly pear blossoms.

Other Workouts: This week saw the return of neighborhood walks! I haven’t gone for a solo walk (without Honey) in quite a while, and this was a great way to add in some movement at the end of my workday. I went for a 2 mile walk in the heat after work, and I completed a 5 minute wall sit around noon.

Love walks with my girl!

Tuesday

This was supposed to be a recovery run after my long run, but I ended up running 10K because I felt good, oops! I ran at the Riparian Preserve, just like last Tuesday, for some great water views and much-needed shade.

Hello, water!

Other Workouts: 6 minute wall sit, 2 mile walk after work.

Wednesday

Back to the trails for me! I completed a 7 mile loop at Usery Mountain Regional Park, my favorite trail running spot, and saw lots of saguaro blossoms, which made me happy.

The blossoms are coming out!

Other Workouts: 10 minute (!) wall sit, 2 mile walk after work.

Thursday

I returned to Usery for my Thursday #wildmiles but I ventured to a new trailhead to mix it up. I had hiked this trail once before but had never run it so I was curious to see how runnable it was, because I didn’t really remember much from the hike. Verdict: there were some stretches that were pretty runnable, but plenty of rocky spots where I had to be more careful with my footing. Also, there was a lot of buzzing in one area and I was kinda concerned I would be attacked by a swarm of bees, so that wasn’t super fun, and I’ll probably avoid this trail until peak bee season is over. 5 slow miles, thanks to the rocky terrain.

It was just me and a few mountain bikers out here (plus all the bees).

Other Workouts: 7 minute wall sit around noon, a 2 mile walk after work and then a short mile-long walk with Honey and my parents after dinner.

Friday

I was feeling some hill work (which seems to be a thing on Fridays?) but didn’t want to go the park where I usually knock out hill repeats. Instead, I hit one of my favorite trails just outside Usery for some actual vert. Like probably 2,000 feet of gain over 7 miles! I ran up the 1.5 mile saddle (about 700 feet), then did a bunch of repeats up and down a smaller slope, and back down the saddle again. I forgot how much I love this trail, after not running there in a couple weeks, and I will be back for more #hillsforbreakfast, hopefully later this week! Also, I only saw a few other people (hikers and a couple runners), which is a win.

Can’t beat these hill repeats views!

Other Workouts: 8 minute midday wall sit, 2.3ish mile walk after work (in honor of Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed while running in his Georgia neighborhood #irunwithmaud) and then a 1.2 mile walk with Honey and my parents after dinner, for 3.5 total walking miles.

Saturday

I’ve been wanting to run at Papago Park in Phoenix for quite some time, and today was the day. I honestly started too late (11 am) and I was struggling about halfway through, but I managed to knock out 7 miles on the trails and 5K loop there. I also ate shit approximately 10 steps into the run, which was not awesome, but I stayed upright the rest of the time. It was hella hot but I still had a good time and I will be back soon (but will go earlier).

The terrain at Papago is so unique, it reminds me of being on Mars or something!

Other Workouts: 1.5 mile morning walk with Honey.

Sunday

Happy Mother’s Day! I needed some recovery miles after a couple days of more strenuous runs, and planned on running 4 miles on a trail that runs through a nearby neighborhood, but I felt good enough to run 5. Actually, 5.3 miles to be exact (to add up to a half mile, with Tuesday’s 6.2 mile run). Sunday was super humid for Arizona (23% humidity, which seems laughable but it feels so swampy to me) but a slight breeze helped on this run.

Some self-timer fun!

Other Workouts: 1 mile morning walk with Honey.

Goals for this Week

So last week was actually my highest mileage week ever, with 47.5 miles of running (plus 15 miles of walking)! I’ve completed 6 weeks in a row of 40+ miles, and I feel like I may be due for a cutback week soon, but I’m enjoying running all the miles, and hoping to keep the streak going. Speaking of streak, I have officially run 30 days in a row! I’m not one for running streaks, but quarantine has changed that and given me a lot more time for running, which I appreciate.

So, will I keep the streak going or not? Only time will tell. If I can remain healthy and uninjured, then I’d like to see how long I can keep running without a day off. But I plan on incorporating more “easy” days, with lower mileage to keep my legs fresh.

I definitely plan to keep the PM walks going. It’s nice to fit in some more movement at the end of the day and enjoy the fresh air. I’d like to walk at least 10 miles a week, or 2 miles every workday, plus Honey walks!

Have you ever done a running streak? If so, how long did it last?

What day do you typically do your long run? I know most runners do them on Saturdays or Sundays but it’s easier for me to do them during the week (Mondays) because I’m already getting up earlier!

Friday Five #10

Food, Life

I can’t believe we’re already a full week into May! May in Arizona means it’s really heating up and this was the hottest week so far of 2020, with a couple days topping 105 degrees 🔥 Has it been warming up where you live?

Life keeps rolling on, even though it’s far from “normal”, so here are a few things I’m loving this week:

1) Vegan Pepperoni Pizza 🍕

I love living in a world where basically anything can be made vegan…including pepperoni pizza! I haven’t found a good vegan pepperoni and most premade vegan pizzas have veggie-only toppings but sometimes, a vegan wants some (plant-based) meat!

I discovered this new brand of vegan, gluten free frozen pizzas at Sprouts and I finally made it for dinner on Monday after my 10 mile long run. It was sooooo good you guys! The pepperoni seemed authentic, the cheese was melty and I love that the crust is packed with veggies, including cauliflower, but is still crispy and delicious!

The BEST frozen pizza!

They have other options I’m eyeing, including a “sausage” pizza! I never imagined being able to eat a “meaty” pizza as a vegan, let alone a healthy-ish, GF one!

Dressed it up with some vegan parm & baby carrots.

2) Morning Runs 🏃‍♀️

I finally gave in and realized my runs would be more comfortable if I switched to mornings now that temps are in the 100s consistently. I haven’t run before 10 am since December probably, and those were all short, 4-5 mile runs before work (when I still worked from the office instead of at home).

I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do my longer runs (7+ miles) in the AM but so far, it’s worked out great switching back to mornings. Yes, it’s still been hot (80s & 90s) because I’m not running super early (I start around 8:30 because I’m driving to the trails or the parks where I run) but it’s been nice to avoid the hottest part of the day and get my run done early.

Aside from some mountain bikers (who aren’t always the most courteous), the trails have been relatively quiet in the mornings!

If I can get myself up even earlier (I’m waking up at 7 now), I might be able to venture even further from home to trails I’ve wanted to run for awhile, but haven’t had the time to during the week and want to avoid on weekends due to crowds!

3) Evening Walks 🚶‍♀️

Going along with shifting my runs to the mornings, I’ve now been walking in the evenings after work. I’ve kept my walks short (2 miles) and just around the neighborhood, but I like the routine I was in of moving my body after work, so I’m keeping that up. Honestly, WFH has been awesome for me because I’m able to fit in movement throughout the day, including strength training, so the walks are just a new way of including exercise.

Hot walks, cool tunes!

Yep, evening walks are HOT but I’m loving this weather and I’ve been listening to my favorite stations on the Sirius XM app as a way to unwind from the work day.

4) Saguaro Blossoms 🌵

I’ve mentioned my love for cactus blossoms before, but besides the pink hedgehog cactus blooms, I love saguaro blossoms the most!

Saguaros are the last cacti to bloom in the spring, and just this week, I’ve noticed the white flowers starting to peek out. It’s sad that most of the other cacti have lost their blossoms by now, but at least I have the saguaro blossoms to look forward to!

Can you spot the saguaro’s “flower crowns”?

5) 30 Day Music Challenge on Instagram 🎧

You may have seen this making the rounds of your friends’ Instagram Stories. Each day for 30 days, you share a song based on the theme of the day, such as a song to dance to or a song that reminds you of summer.

Below is the song I chose for “a song that needs to be played loud”:

What type of music do you love most? For me, it’s definitely alt rock!

Have you ever eaten a “meaty” meatless pizza?

The Rundown (4/27-5/3): 180 Miles in 30 Days

Life

Happy happy Monday! How’s your week shaping up so far? Mine is actually starting out differently than usual, as I’ve decided to try to shift back to morning runs as daily temps are climbing above 100 degrees. I still love evening runs, but I think running in the AM will be safer in the hot summer months. Soooo I kicked off this week with a *10 mile* run before work and I’m still on that runner’s high!

This week’s highlight was hitting (and exceeding) my monthly mileage goal for April. Remember I said I wanted to run at least 150 miles to beat my previous monthly PDR of 146 miles, set back in March? Well, I freaking smashed that goal and ran 180.5 miles in April! That averages out to 45 miles a week, and April was also the first month I actually ran 40+ miles in a week…not just once, but every week in April! Honestly, what helped me reach this goal was not taking any days off from running from Easter onward. I typically run 5-6 days per week, and I only took 2 days off in April. I’m trying to keep the running streak going to 30 days (only one week left!), and then I’ll probably move back to running 6 days a week. I’ve just been curious about how much I can run, now that I have more time to run!

I have a post in the works about the lessons I learned running 180 miles in a month, but for now, let’s get to my weekly rundown!

Monday

Long run Monday going strong! I’ve also been running at the same park every Monday because I just really love it and there’s lots of dirt trails, plants and animals to keep it interesting. 8 miles to start off the week.

#sunsetrunset views

Other Workouts: The wall sits return for another week. I did a 5 minute one on Monday.

Tuesday

Oooof, this was a tough day for me mentally. I was dealing with some work shit that got me down, so I needed a good run to clear my head. I decided to run at the riparian preserve in Gilbert, which had been one of my favorite running spots, but I hadn’t been there since early March because after the stay-at-home orders went into effect, everyone seemed to swarm the park at all hours of the day. I decided to take my chances, since it was pretty hot on Tuesday evening, and it wasn’t actually that crowded! More than I would have liked, but I was able to socially distance. 7 much-needed miles!

It’s rare to see water while running in Arizona!

Other Workouts: 6 minute wall sit. Building those quads one wall sit at a time!

Wednesday

Another tough day, so I escaped to the desert trails for this run. Another 7 mile day (slower than Tuesday because I ran much of this through a wash, aka extremely deep sand) that was very much needed.

Needed this run so much!

Other Workouts: 7 minute wall sit!

Thursday

Back to Usery once again for my Thursday #wildmiles. Because I went through the main park entrance instead of one of the side entrances, I had to leave before 6 because the park gates would close then, so this run was a little more rushed than I would have liked, but I still got 6 miles in. I also saw a snake (just its tail sticking out of a shrub) right at the beginning of the run, but I was too slow to snap a picture!

Thursday was overcast so this run didn’t feel that hot!

Other Workouts: 8 minute wall sit.

Friday

I was feeling the need for a hill workout today, even though it was hella hot after work and my usual hill spot is almost completely in the direct sun, with minimal shade. I honestly thought I’d be lucky to make it to 5 miles, but I ended with 7 miles, with 1.5-ish of those hill repeats!

View from my hill repeats.

Other Workouts: 10 minute wall sit, feeling so spicy!

Saturday

Unlike a lot of runners who have their long runs on weekends, I like to use my weekends for recovery runs, mostly because I like to sleep in (til 8 or so) and now that it’s hot, I’m not about to push myself hard on a midday run. I drove to one of my go-to parks and knocked out 4 miles that felt tougher than my longer runs! The heat is definitely humbling, but that’s why I love it.

Had some fun with my self timer for this shot!

Other Workouts: I typically save my wall sits for the week, but I decided to do a 6 minute wall sit today for fun. I also spent some time in the pool, but that was lounging, not a workout!

Sunday

Kept my run in the neighborhood for #sundayrunday. Whenever I run in my ‘hood now (which is usually once a week at most), I wonder how I ran exclusively in my neighborhood for most of the past 2 years. It’s so boring! But I only saw, like 2 other people, which is almost unheard of at the parks/desert trails I like to run at on weekdays. 5 miles to wrap up the week with 44 miles!

I brought my water on this run!

Other Workouts: 2 mile walk with Honey after getting back from my run. We’ve been limiting her walks lately as she’s been having an issue with limping, so this was my first walk with her in over a week!

Goals for this Week

I’m trying to keep the running streak alive for 7 more days, and I’m hoping to have more strong AM runs this week. I’ve shifted back and forth between AM and PM runs throughout the 6 years I’ve been running, and I still love PM runs best, but it does feel good to be done with my run in the morning.

I’d also like to get more walking in this week! I haven’t hiked in a couple weeks, and any walks I’ve done have been pretty short, and mostly with Honey. Even if she’s not up for walks this week, I’d like to try to walk every weekday evening after work, now that I’m running in the morning.

Are you a morning or an evening exerciser (or both)?

Wall sits: love em or hate em?

Friday Five #9

Food, Life

Welcome to May! I don’t know about you, but March went by sooooo slowly and April flew by pretty quickly.

Things are still very uncertain, so it’s hard for me to get excited about a new month but I’m trying to be optimistic about the future and hopeful for a “normal” summer. For now, I’m just taking things day by day and week by week and taking time to appreciate the little things, like…

1) Cocktail Festival at Home

My parents and I were set to attend a local cocktail festival the last weekend of April, but as with everything else, it was canceled. So we decided to throw our own festival at home!

My mom tasked each of us with creating a cocktail and then we would do a blind taste test and determine the “winner”.

I decided to make a smoky Paloma, with mezcal, lime juice, muddled rosemary and a splash of grapefruit soda. It was not the official winner but we all agreed that all 3 drinks were really delicious.

All our drinks looked the same but were v different!

I really enjoy getting creative making cocktails and it was a fun way to spend a Sunday by the pool!

2) New Swimsuits

Speaking of the pool, we finally had our first pool weekend of the year this past week. My fam actually used the pool a couple times earlier this season, but it was my first time in the pool in 2020, thanks to the suddenly hot weather.

Honey’s already been enjoying the pool for a month now (she goes in for a quick dip after her walks).

Since weekends for the foreseeable future (aka through October) will be spent poolside, I invested in two new swimsuits. I already have several but I like having a couple new ones each season to mix it up, especially since I spend so many Saturdays and Sundays in the pool.

I got a cheetah print suit with a crop top from Aerie for $20 (yes, for both pieces) and a mix and match suit with boy short bottoms from VS Pink for about $30, so neither broke the bank. I feel confident AF in both suits, which is always a good thing!

Feeling myself 💁🏻‍♀️

3) Everything but the Bagel Seasoned Nut Duo

Everything but the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s is my HG seasoning. I use that ish on (almost) everything!

So when TJs came out with a new product featuring their ever popular spice blend, I knew I had to snatch some up! The nut duo actually isn’t TJs first product using EBTB — I know they also have a smoked salmon and a yogurt dip, but neither of those are vegan so this is the first plant based item utilizing EBTB.

Can’t wait for more EBTB products!

When I first tried this nut mix, I wasn’t wowed but after eating some of it every day since, I can tell you it’s really good. It’s not too salty and you can definitely pick up all the other spices that make up EBTB in the flavor of the almonds and cashews. I am obsessed with nuts/seeds (I have some daily 🙈) and these will be a repeat purchase for me. Now if only I could find the new chili garlic cashews they’re supposed to have…

4) Discount Tire

Let me just say that I’m super grateful that car repair places are considered essential businesses because even if most of us aren’t driving as much as we used to, we still have places to go. I drive about 20-40 minutes daily to go running so I’m still using my car on the reg.

I bought my 2015 Toyota Prius C (named Skye) back in June 2018 and it’s been a great car for me. I love the color, size and the gas mileage is perfect for someone who typically has a long commute (cough cough me). The only issue has been the tires.

The tires were already not in the best condition when I bought Skye, but they held up for about a year and a half. Earlier this year, I had to replace the front tires (each one a couple weeks apart, which was annoying to have to keep taking it back in) and I thought I could hold out a few more months on the rear tires but when my tire light came on last week, I knew it was time.

I just went ahead and replaced the other two tires on Monday. Yes, it was $300 I wish I could have spent elsewhere (or saved) but Discount Tire is awesome! Their service is exceptional and I dropped off my car and it was ready to go within an hour. Plus they are really thorough about cleaning their desk spaces, which is great during this time when everyone is freaked out about getting sick (& the technicians all wear masks and gloves). I highly recommend Discount Tire if you need new tires!

5) Alt Nation’s Inside Tracks

SiriusXM satellite radio is the best! My parents have been subscribers for years and I had it in my last car, Alejandro. I’m glad they now have an app so I can still listen to it while driving or while I’m working from home.

My favorite station, Alt Nation, just started doing a new show called Inside Tracks, where an artist takes control of the station for an hour and plays some of their favorite songs, while they’re quarantined at home/in their studio. It’s really cool because you get to hear songs you normally wouldn’t on the station.

Last week, Green Day (one of my all time fav bands) was the guest and they played some great songs, including one by SWMRS that I’m now obsessed with.

Are you still driving or are you totally staying at home? What’s your favorite nut? Mine is probably pecans or cashews!