Summer ’17 #RWRunStreak

Who’s in?! I LOVE THIS STREAK! #rwrunstreak
This will be my 4th summer participating in this streak. Last year, we were on the road so it was tricky. Runner’s World also hosts a winter streak, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. These streaks always come at the best time, when I need that little extra boost to get out the door.

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Run at least 1 mile a day from Memorial Day to July 4th ☀️☀️☀️  I made a little calendar so you can cross the days off or write how many miles you run each day in the circles! (I have a PDF version too, let me know if you’d rather have that!) More details on the Runner’s World site here: http://www.runnersworld.com/rwrunstreak

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The last few years I’ve started a Facebook group but I feel like we’re all in so many Facebook groups so I launched a Slack channel instead to try something new! If you want to participate in our channel, join here: http://bit.ly/rwrunstreakslack Slack is a messaging app for teams/groups/shared interests etc. It’s kind of like a giant group text without all of the notifications. There are different categories or “channels” where we can talk about different topics. There are multiple channels I created so we can chat about different running related (and non running related) things. We can cheer each other on and shout out our miles and make new running connections! If you’re not into that, totally cool!

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Whether you’re walking or running or run-walking, I hope you’ll join us! xo

 

How to Style a #Lularoe Julie – Let’s Count the Ways

It’s no secret that I love Lularoe. I think the clothes are designed for comfort and style, which I love. When I wear Lula to work, I feel like I’m cheating. The dresses, skirts – totally comfy and work appropriate!

Julia is stretchy and form-fitting which is not usually what you’ll find me wearing. I love looser, flowy clothes so this was a bit out of my comfort zone. After trying it on a few different ways though, I realized there are so many ways to take a fitted Julia dress and style it in a way that makes you feel more comfortable. I felt happy and confident rocking all of these stripes.

This Julia is unique, with stripes going 2 different directions and I wasn’t sure I could pull it off with my curves. Here are a few ways to style your Julia – which is your favorite?

My friend Sarah, from Lularoe by Sarah Merrill can hook you up with one of these dresses or a big selection of others, if you’re interested! All bling from my boutique @ www.candibymandi.com xo

Chambray shirt. The 90’s called.
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Long vest. A TJ Maxx find.
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Pup not included. Army jacket and vest.
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Basic Tee. Solid Tee from Target.
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Just add a Blazer. Fancy it up.
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With an Irma. Also, Lularoe. The high-low of the Lularoe Irma is great for this fitted dress.44

With coffee + a Lularoe Lindsay. Perfect pair.
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Ultramarathon: The Decision

The decision to train for and run 50 miles came from a slump, honestly.

Last summer and all fall I trained my butt off for the November Two Cities Marathon in Fresno. (Note: Fresno heat is no joke and training for a marathon our first summer here was an adventure.) The Two Cities Marathon was my first terrible race. I made all of the rookie mistakes that they tell you not to make. It was my 7th marathon, I should have known better.

  • I didn’t eat a good breakfast.
  • I didn’t plan my outfit well.
  • I started off too fast.
  • I didn’t pack enough snacks.
  • I ate Gu which I didn’t eat at all during training.

I cranked out the first 10 miles at a 7:52 pace which I didn’t even know my body was capable of. I was cruising. Then I just completely ran out of gas due to lack of a solid breakfast and on-the-run fueling. My vision started to go completely black and splotchy and I felt light-headed. That’s never happened before. I grabbed Gu packet from the next aid station because I knew it was probably my blood sugar making my vision go. The Gu helped my vision and also wrecked my stomach (which is why they tell you to never eat anything on race day that you didn’t eat during training…). #facepalm

I got moving again long enough to see Colin at mile 13. I cried a little a lot, handed him my extra jacket that I was carrying with me and my hydration pack, collect additional snacks and forge on. He ran for a few minutes alongside me and told me I could do this. I was barely halfway.

I hardly remember the out and back stretch on Friant. Hills. Sun. Pain. Cramps. Nausea. I just kept thinking about how this would be my 7th full marathon but the first one that has just gone all wrong. We’re all allowed a bad race. I guess I have been lucky to get through 6 pretty smoothly until now.

I finished with blisters galore. Finish line beer earned. My dream of Boston never felt so far away.

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Colin was there for me at the finish line and reminded me that hey, even though it was rough I still finished another marathon. I hit up the beer tent and put the race behind me, or so I thought. The next few weeks were spent recovering (a little) and focusing on the next big thing (a lot). I know that I didn’t give my body enough rest time before I started training for my next race: The Modesto Marathon in March. I jumped into a training plan that was more intense than the last because that was all I could think about: doing better than my November race and qualifying for Boston. Everything hurt in a way that I don’t usually hurt.

I was frustrated with myself. Tired all of the time. Achy. Cranky. My way of coping with the disappointment of my fall race was to overtrain for the next one. Bad move.

I felt like I was failing. It was my body telling me that I needed rest.

I deferred my March marathon registration to 2018 instead. I spent time reflecting on what my body and mind needed after November’s race. Another marathon so soon wasn’t it.

I needed a new goal and that’s where an ultramarathon came in. I spent a long time doing my research and decided on the LOVERS LEAP OF FAITH – STRAWBERRY on July 1. I am 4 weeks into training and I’m totally <insert every emotion you can think of here>. But hey, that’s what it’s all about, right? #allthefeelings

I run for a lot of reasons. Running shows me every day that I’m capable of more than I imagine. The rest of this year looks like this: Run my 50 mile race on July 1. Take a few weeks of yoga + recovery and then hit marathon training hard for the Two Cities in November. After all, 26.2 will feel like breeze after 50, right? 😉

 

 

A #StitchFix of Comfy Jeans

Ever since I can remember, getting to wear jeans has never really been something that I’ve been excited about. I’d rather wear a dress – to me, that’s much more comfortable. Too short. Too tight. No stretch. Too many holes. Too dark. Too light. Call me picky but finding jeans is nearly impossible for me. Everyone I ask has a different recommendation and none of them seem to be just right.

I want to come home from work and want to put on jeans. I want to wear jeans on the weekend.

This is the note I sent my Stitch Fix stylist:

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I knew they’d nail it! What’d I get? 3 pairs of boyfriend, stretchy, comfy-but-cute boyfriend jeans. They all fit and I felt great in all of them! I wanted to keep them all but I just chose 1. I also got a cute tank and blazer – both which fit well and I wanted to keep them…but my budget told me not to do it and I listened.

This is how excited I was about this fix.
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Try it! You don’t have anything to lose. They subtract your $20 styling fee from any one the items you choose to keep. Send me pics when yours arrives, I love seeing what is in everyones fixes!

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More posts on past Stitch Fixes here:
My latest #StichFix
Stitch Fix Review: My First Box

 

 

Pilates and your workday

I found this to be helpful so I am sharing with you all, enjoy! xo

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Sit at Work All Day? Here’s Why You Should Consider Pilates

 

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings…

..these are a few (more) of my favorite things from 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are some of your favorite things?! xo

 

Things I’m Loving This Week 1/29-2/4/2017

Starting something new called “Things I’m Loving This Week” because it seems like every week, I find more and more things that I become obsessed with. This is just as much for me to keep track of what I love, as it is for me to share those things with you. Hope you like it.

Here’s what I’m loving this week:

  • The Official Social Media Recap Show: FYN Creative 
  • Being super vulnerable and telling people how I really feel. (a.k.a. channeling my inner Brene Brown)
  • Single-serve almond butter packets (saving the day when I forget to pack lunch and find one of these in the bottom of my purse, or in the back of a desk drawer). Thanks, Justin’s. You can find them in the grocery store in the PB isle.
  •  Being able to take our pup for walks now that he is done with all of his shots.
  • These work pants. I’ve had 2 pairs (black and navy) for 6 years and they just got holes/wore out and I ordered more. Yes, they are called tummy-control. #noshame

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2017 Fitness Goals (that scare me)

I feel like my fitness goals deserve the own blog post. I plan to update this post as I make progress as a way to hold myself accountable. What are you tackling in 2017? Anyone want to join me on any of these?

  • Qualify for Boston. omg I’m terrified writing that out loud.
  • Do 5 pull-ups, unassisted. This has been a goal of mine for years. This is the year. #strong
  • Hold plank up on hands for 2 minutes. (Current, 12/31 57 seconds) 
  • 30 push-ups in a row, no rest. Now that I can do a real push-up on my toes, time to get stronger.
  • 5K in under 23 minutes. (Current PR 24:25)
  • 10K in under 50 minutes. (No idea what my current PR is for this but it’s around 65 minutes)
  • Track all of my miles run in my planner so that I know how many miles I run for the whole year.
  • Yoga headstandCurrently: afraid.
  • Hold crow pose for 1 minute.
  • #RUNTHEYEAR : 2017 miles in 2017 (This one is a huge stretch, but I’m going to see how close I can get. I know my pal Joel is doing it too, anyone else?!)
  • Hit 10,000 steps a day at least 6 days/week. I use the app “Pact” to track this. It rewards you for your good fitness deeds and charges you (scary!) when you miss your goal. Dolla dolla motivation.
  • Try more workouts from magazines and my Pinterest boards to keep mixing it up
  • Body fat % down to 21-22% (Current: 27.5% – I use my Fitbit Aria scale to track this)

**Note: blogged while eating cookies and drinking coffee.
Should probably add “eat better” to this list as well. #everythinginmoderation

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2016 Happies and Crappies

Happies and Crappies.

When I was an RA in college, we’d go around as a staff and share our happies and crappies for the week as a way to get connected before our meetings. It was fun and I feel like even though 2016 was full of crappies but there were lots of happies too. Here’s my list of happies because I don’t really feel like reflecting on the crappies.

Happies:
Finally learned how to do a real deal push-up on my toes.
Ran my 6th and 7th marathons.
Trained harder than I ever have before for 7th marathon.
Moved to California.
Got a puppy!
Became a Chloe + Isabel leader.
Took more selfies. Haha 😉
Met so many new amazing people.
Practiced prioritizing myself and #selfcare.
Spent a lot of time reflecting on what I want out of my career.
Dreamed bigger than I ever have before.grateful-heart-pink-02I’m the kind of person who is ready to welcome 2017 and all of my new goals/dreams without taking the time to think about what I accomplished in 2016. That is important too! What are you proud of? What are some of your 2016 happies? Celebrate your wins today. xo

It’s impossible to “just look” at husky puppies (& 29 other lessons learned during the first 6 months in Fresno)

6 months ago we packed up our lives in Bloomington, IL where we had lived for 2 years and moved to Fresno, CA. We drove ourselves and what could fit in our car while the rest of our stuff met us here 2 weeks later. We took our time on the road trip stopping along the way to see family and friends. #mancotofresno

Colin’s job spurred this relocation but it was something that has been on our hearts for awhile: the west. This past summer was a whirlwind and I feel like we are just starting to feel settled here and calling Fresno home. I didn’t spend much time blogging or reflecting on the experience of moving so I’m taking this time over winter break to do just that. Taking a deep breath and being so so so thankful.

Our roadtrip looked like this:

  • Bloomington to Ames, Iowa so I could show Colin where a piece of my heart still lies, at Iowa State. Go Cyclones!
  • Ames, Iowa to Lincoln, Nebraska. Not much to report there.
  • Lincoln, Nebraska to Denver, Colorado to stay with our good friends, DJ & Mariesha.
  • Denver, Colorado to Colorado Springs, Colorado to see Colin’s dad and go fly fishing!
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado to Flagstaff, Arizona.
  • Flagstaff, Arizona to Albuquerque, New Mexico to have lunch with Jenny!
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico to Phoenix, Arizona to to see my grandparents and Colin’s great aunt & uncle.
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico to San Diego, CA.
  • San Diego, CA to Fresno, CA. #homesweethome

untitled-design-3It was a lot of car time but it was also a blast. We got to see some amazing people and places. We didn’t get sick of each other, but we did get sick of hotels. We were creative with getting our workouts in on the road. We spent a week in sunny San Diego exploring and relaxing. It was my first time to California since I was a little girl and was a flower girl in a wedding. Then, we made it to Fresno!

The list below just barely scratches the surface of things I’ve learned since we arrived here 6 months ago… Fresno is a pretty incredible place! I hope you’ll come visit us and check it out soon.

  1. The lack of humidity here makes 110+ in the summer not feel so bad.
  2. It’s impossible to “just look” at puppies. Meet Denver, our new husky puppy.
  3. Fresno is full of Bulldog pride.
  4. Heat rash is a thing and when it happens on your face, it’s awful. The cure? Copious amounts of aloe.
  5. Being a homeowner is exciting + scary + overwhelming + feels like real-deal adulting.
  6. California isn’t all “Hollywood” and actually people are super down-to-earth here.
  7. Trying to go for a run in the middle of the day when it’s 120 degrees outside  is not safe or smart.
  8. Being unemployed is awkward and hard.
  9. Job searching is tedious and exhausting.
  10. Sometimes, all the right pieces fall into place at all the right times.
  11. Making decisions based solely on what’s best for you isn’t always easy, but it’s better in the long run.
  12. Having the best realtor in the world made the house buying process so much better and a little less scary.
  13. My #chloeandisabel community continues to mean more than ever, no matter where I live.
  14. Running a marathon in the same town you live in is a super convenient thing.
  15. It’s still weird to see palm trees when I walk out of Target.
  16. The craft beer here is really great.
  17. I need to learn more about wine.
  18. If you’re going to run long distances in Fresno, you need to invest in a hydration pack.
  19. In & Out Burger is pretty amazing, but the line is always way too long.
  20. Having access to both the beach and the mountains is pretty incredible.
  21. Moving halfway across the country means my #snailmail has increased quite a bit! Let’s be penpals!
  22. People here are very dramatic about the weather. Foggy starts instead of snow days? I’ll take it.
  23. The Pacific time zone has it’s perks, but I’m still not used to it.
  24. A cross country road trip leaves plenty of car time to make a music video.
  25. It does get cold here, just not Chicago-cold.
  26. San Diego is one of the coolest places to spend a week. Use Groupon.
  27. Having an REI in the same town we live in makes us feel like “we made it”.
  28. I lost my “thick skin” already and I need a sweater if it drops below 75.
  29. We are very close to both Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.
  30. Fall lasts forever here! There are still leaves on the ground at the end of December.

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