Category Archives: Fitness

How to Find a Yoga Studio

how to find a yoga studio | almost getting it together

Well, this blog has basically turned into a fitness blog. Don’t worry, I have lots of recipes and lifestyle stuff coming your way soon. But I better take advantage of all those Google searches for fitness things now, right?

As I’ve mentioned, finding a yoga studio in San Francisco has surprisingly been a struggle for me. I just love my yoga studio at home, Amazing Yoga (which I’m ashamed to admit I did not visit once while I was home… I’m the worst). I love Amazing Yoga – there isn’t any chanting (well, three “OMs” at the beginning and end of class, which actually allegedly stretch your vocal cords), the teachers are all awesome and I leave feeling like I actually worked out.

how to find a yoga studio | almost getting it together

When all else fails… yoga at home.

In San Francisco, I can’t find a studio that is hot enough, one that is hard enough or one that doesn’t have any chanting… I just don’t want to spend 10 minutes singing Sanskrit, I’m sorry. I don’t have enough time for things as it is. I’ve found one that I like well enough but not sure if I love it yet. An instructor did that weird breathing thing and I just want to do some deep breathes and bend and sweat and… why is everything more complicated on the West Coast?

Every type of yoga is obviously not for everyone. Some of my friends (hey, Jess!) LOVE Bikram, others love a more restorative practice (hi, Carly) and me? I love being sore the next day. Power Vinyasa all the way.

If you’re new to yoga, here are my tips on how to find a yoga studio:

  • Try lots of types of yoga.
    A lot of studios have first class free or new student discounts. Take advantage of those and try every type of yoga you can – heated, not heated, hatha, yin… the list goes on and on.
  • Take advantage of free classes.
    Lululemon stores always have free classes, Athleta usually does and a lot of cities do yoga in the park or yoga on the beach, etc. These are taught by local teachers and you could find an instructor who teaches at a studio nearby.
  • Have an open mind.
    I didn’t think I was going to like hot yoga the first time I went. Then… I was hooked. I don’t even like non-heated yoga anymore. If I hadn’t ever tried it (aka had an open mind about it), I would never know that I loved it!
  • Talk to the teacher.
    I took a class on Thanksgiving Day that I didn’t love. It was fine, but it wasn’t heated or very difficult. I casually mentioned to the instructor that I was looking for a studio that was heated, etc. and she suggested another studio she taught at – and gave me free passes to go! (I totally need to remember to go haha.)
  • Don’t push yourself.
    If you aren’t comfortable doing a pose, DON’T DO IT! If you hurt yourself or push yourself too hard, you’re going to have a bad memory of that class
  • Be willing to do yoga at home.
    I’ve been finding it more difficult to get to yoga than I did in Pittsburgh. Also I had an unlimited class pass at my studio so I was going as much as possible to get my money’s worth! Now if I can’t make it to a class I will maybe do some half pigeons and random poses at home to stretch out. Maybe the right yoga studio for you is your living room or deck!
how to find a yoga studio | almost getting it together

Half-pigeon 4lyfe.

If you need a little extra motivation, you might need some inspirational socks. Toe Talks sent me a bunch of their lovely socks and I wore them to do some yoga on my patio while in Pittsburgh the past two weeks (the one day it was above freezing, of course). Each pair of socks has a message… my friend is “Seek Balance” because I seem to always be at one extreme or the other! Oh, and you can really find some balance by winning a trip to Turks and Caicos sponsored by the lovely folks at Toe Talk.

The creator, Jan, was suffering through a pilates class when she looked down and wondered what her socks would say if they could talk. She realized there was a need for motivational socks… even if they are covered by your shoes, YOU know their message is there! They are comfy and cozy as well, perfect for those cold winter nights that have fallen upon us.

Toe Talk is different from every other sock because they also donate $1 from every pair to charity. Past recipients include Stand Up to Cancer, Save the Children and Best Friends Animal Society.

how to find a yoga studio toe talk | almost getting it together

Seeking balance with Toe Talk.

Do you want to try some Toe Talks to inspire your yoga practice? I’m giving away SEVEN PAIRS so you don’t have an excuse to work out… or wear clean socks. Enter below now through Sunday at midnight EST. I’ll pick a winner randomly on Monday, 1.12.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pants: Lululemon (old) Sweater: Oiselle (sold out) Socks: c/o Toe Talk

Chat with me:
How do you find balance in your life? Do you have any tips for finding a yoga studio?

Home Gym Essentials

home gym essentials asics gel-fit sana | almost getting it together

As I mentioned yesterday, one of my goals for 2015 is to strength train four days a week. It definitely makes such a difference in how I look, feel, run, etc. etc. It’s kind of easy for me to think about the time for the calories (i.e. 200 calories in 45 minutes) and think it’s not worth it but it is SO important. I don’t love body-weight training: it’s usually too jumping around, cardio-ish for me so some hand weights and a medicine ball make me want to work out at home way more. Plus, if the weather sucks it’s nice to just have an alternative to running or heading out to the gym.

home gym essentials asics gel-fit sana | almost getting it together

Home Gym Essentials

You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment for your home gym essentials. If you have the money, space and desire for a treadmill or stationary bike, that’s great, but you can easily get a few items for around $100 total that will suit basically every need. If you think about the cost of a gym membership, transportation there and back, etc. – the cost is way less the more you do your workouts at home!

Home Gym Essentials

home gym essentials asics gel-fit sana | almost getting it together

Planking.

  • Shoes
    Other than your running shoes! See below for my favorites, the Asics Gel-Fit Sana.
  • Yoga Mat
    For planks, core, push-ups… anything where your hands and knees could use a little cushioning.
  • Hand Weights
    I have 3, 5 and 8 pound dumbbells. I had 3 pound weights forever then ever 6 months or so have built up enough strength to need heavier weights.
  • Kettlebell
    My FAVE! I have both a 7 and 12 pound kettle bell, AKA I worked up to a 12 pound over time.
  • Medicine Ball
    Totally a game changer. This kills your core in all the best ways.

As a runner, I know how important the right shoes are to staying injury free. Running shoes are not the shoes you should be wearing for cross training or even wearing while you’re running errands around town. Whether I’m walking to yoga or doing an NTC workout at home, the Asics Gel-Fit Sana have turned out to be the perfect shoe for my flexible needs. These shoes are super light, too, so it’s not a big deal to throw them in your gym bag or even pack an extra pair of shoes for walking around the city when traveling. They adapt and support the foot with the inner lining from the heel to the forefoot, while providing a barefoot-like sensation.

home gym essentials asics gel-fit sana | almost getting it together

My new favorite cross-training shoes… the Asics Gel-Fit Sana.

The one problem I am facing right now with my home workouts is the fact that I live on the third floor of a three story building… with old hardwood floors, neighbors below and the need for rugs (whoops). #cityprobs. I’m toying with the idea of dragging everything down to the beach or the Marina Green (which is only a few blocks away) if I feel the need to do anything involving jumping but haven’t thought it out yet.

Chat with me:
Do you wear different shoes for different types of workouts? What other items do you think are essentials for at-home workouts? Do you have any at-home workouts I should try that are quieter?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of ASICS.

SoulCycle Review

soulcycle soma san francisco | almost getting it together

Last Monday night I fell in love… with SoulCycle. I’m usually not 100% sold ‘OMG I LOVE THIS” when I do a new workout. 90% of the time I think, “eh that was alright, I’d probably do it again”. This was not one of those times.

I don’t want to say I drank the SoulCycle Kool-aide but I totally get it now.  I really honestly don’t like spin classes. I go because I know I should cross-train but I spend the hour trying not to look at the clock every two minutes, waiting for this form of torture to be over. SoulCycle was over before I wanted it to be over. That never happens.

There’s a SoulCycle studio in my neighborhood, The Marina and they just opened up a new, 64-bike studio in SoMa. It’s also right by the new Pressed Juice in SoMa. I went to that because the class fit in my schedule and also having 64 bikes means you have less of a chance of not getting in the class you want. Registration for the next week opens on Mondays at noon so you sign on to the SoulCycle site and register for all the classes you want for the week.

SoulCycle is all about non-judgement. I actually had people refer to it as spin class with therapy. The instructor turns off the lights, lights candles around their bike (it sounds weirder than it is, I promise) and pounds the music. The key to SoulCycle not sucking (in my opinion) as opposed to other spin classes as far as technique goes is to spin to the music. My instructor was Jenny who was an instructor in NYC and moved to SF to help open the Marina and Marin studios and her playlist was on point, from Taylor Swift to Beyonce to Eminem and finishing up with Banks.

Another aspect I loved was that you focused on a lot of upper body work as well. Each bike has 2 or 3 lb weights and you do arm and upper body exercises for 2 or 3 songs. I’m not going to lie – I was slightly sore on Tuesday morning. Actually I was a little sore in my lower body as well, mixing an 8-mile tempo run and SoulCycle together wasn’t my best idea (but a typical one for me).

The next morning, I immediately put SoulCycle shoes and classes on my Christmas list, so now I am officially the Marina Girl stereotype. Pass the green juice, please.

Chat with me:
Have you tried SoulCycle? Are you obsessed? What workout are you dying to try?

How to Get Out of a Running Rut

I found it funny in the summer that my Monday-Friday milage was higher than my weekly milage in the winter (in Pittsburgh). Last winter was particularly terrible (hence why I moved to California) and I was maybe getting in 20 miles a week… that’s with a long(ish) run on the weekends.

Around the end of September into October, my motivation to run began to wane. I was in peak marathon training and burning out. Then a bunch of life stuff happened and I didn’t want to be alone with my thoughts that long. Moving also does nothing for running because you’re overwhelmed with things you have to do.

Luckily, a lot of my friends are runners. And those friends are all WAY more talented runners than me, like Boston Qualifiers (Lesley), soon-t0-be Boston Qualifiers (hey Em!) and people training to run at elite status (hi, Lorraine). They all assured me that it would pass, I wouldn’t hate running forever and it was okay to take a little time off. They were right.

Here’s how I got out of a running rut:

  • Dialed back intensity: I went a few weeks without doing a long run. I stopped my two-a-days on Tuesdays (kind of out of necessity, RIP #TRT) and moved my daily milage back from 8 miles to 6 miles.
  • Joined a running group: I’ve been running with San Francisco Road Runners on Saturdays for my long runs and I LOVE IT. I’m going to do a whole post about it but my long runs go by so much faster and I’ve met some great people already.
  • Ran a new path. When I was at home, I started running at Schenley Park since I had a good amount of time on my hands.
  • Saved music just for running. Want to know what will get you out of the house? Listening to new Beyonce.
  • Only allow myself to do something after running. This is dumb, but sometimes when I was planning trips I wouldn’t let myself buy my plane ticket until after I ran. Even if it sucked, it got me out the door.
  • Bought new running gear. If wearing new Lululemon doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will.

I was kind of complaining about a not-so-great run on Friday to someone (also a runner) and he told me something I’ve heard many times and I also tell people: for every bad run, it will make the next one that much better. And you know what? My run today was pretty damn amazing.

Related:
Tips for Cold Weather Running
How to Have a Successful Long Run

Chat with me:
Do you ever get in a running rut? How do you get out? Do you have any running related questions you would like me to answer in a post?

Race Recap: Marin Turkey Trot 10K

marin turkey trot 2014 | almost getting it together

Technically, this wasn’t the Marin Turkey Trot 10K. It was a Turkey Trot 5K and Pilgrim 10K, but, as we know from yesterday, #turndownforSEO. Alert, this post is real run nerd.

I realized a few years ago I’m not meant for shorter distances. I casually told a 19 year old who had just run an ultra-marathon (#bayareaprobs) this summer that I didn’t ever feel good until a few miles in (typically anywhere from 3-6, honestly) and she said “you should run an ultra!” Thanks, but no thanks. I like milages less than 20. I don’t know about more than 20 because I moved to San Francisco and canceled my marathon. (BUT I have plans for a spring marathon.) Back at hand: I hate 5Ks and I’m not 100% with their older cousin, the 10K.

Since I stayed in the city for Thanksgiving, I wasn’t planning on eating my face off (that hasn’t happened for two years, I’m great with self-control until 9 at night, then all bets are off), but I wanted to get a run in. The San Francisco Turkey Trot was sold out so I decided to run one in Marin. I live less than two miles from the Golden Gate Bridge, so it’s honestly basically faster for me to go to Marin than it is to go across town if there isn’t traffic.

golden gate bridge | almost getting it together

Here’s a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge since I didn’t take any photos on Thursday.

I didn’t go into this race with any real plans. I wanted to run sub-50 if possible, which would be 8:07 min miles according to my calculator. My last 10K time was 53:40 at the Pittsburgh Great Race 10K 2013. I ran a 52:18 10K at Nike Women’s DC Half-Marathon and probably something similar to that in San Francisco. I looked at the results from last year and realized I could probably place in the 5K but after a quick touch base with Angela I decided not to chance it and just run the 10K. (I would have come in 4th after looking at the results for 2014 and my 5K time.)

In true Cassie fashion, I was late to the start line. Everyone was gone by the time I got there. I looked like a lost puppy then someone saw me and told me to go. I took off, deciding I should probably catch up with everyone I should be running with. I passed a lot of people walking and people with strollers and families. This was a real family friendly race. If you’re inherently competitive, I suggest starting a race late so you can just pass people the entire time. My first few miles were in the mid-7s.

Then Bay Area happened: hills. The last two miles were basically entirely uphill. My time for the last two miles slowed to 8:30-ish then 8:50-ish. I was so exhausted from going out too hard in the beginning, my last two tenths of a mile were close to a 9-minute pace. I ran a 51:03 according to my watch, 8:11 minute/mile pace. According to the results it was 51:15 but I also accidentally ran over the starting line trying to find the starting line, so I’m trusting my watch. Anyway, it was a PR which I couldn’t be upset about. I’ve felt faster in my daily runs lately so I am definitely seeing improvement… now to just actually follow a training plan and get back to doing speed work and tempo runs.

Whole Foods Novoto sponsored the race which meant I got a cool mug, tech t-shirt, goji berries and cacao powder in the swag bag. Goji berries and cacao powder! I love you, California. Afterwards I decided to actually go to Whole Foods out in Marin because grocery shopping in the city gives me anxiety. (Hence why I try to buy everything I can at the Farmer’s Market or get it delivered by Google Express so I don’t have to deal with shopping here.)

Chat with me:
Did you run a Thanksgiving Day race? What is your favorite race distance? Would you want to read a post about things I love/hate about living in SF?

ClassPass Review

surfset sweat republic san francisco | almost getting it together

I need more hours in the day mainly so I can try out every fitness class San Francisco has to offer. It’s really hard sometimes to not just want to run every day because it is SO GORGEOUS OUT every morning but I have had some seriously fun workouts in SF in the month (!!!) I’ve been here. Luckily, I’ve been able to test a lot of boutique studios out with ClassPass.

How can you not want to run when this is your view?

How can you not want to run when this is your view?

ClassPass allows you to book classes at dozens of boutique studios for $99 a month. They are currently in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, LA, NYC, Portland, San Diego, Seattle and DC. Classes offered vary from strength training, Pilates, TRX, yoga, cycling, barre and basically everything in between.

I’m going to do a bunch of bullet points for things I want to say about ClassPass because I’m tired and not feeling 100% coherent tonight. No clue why. Probably because my neighbors were having a rave all weekend all night long.

Studios I Have Tried

  • Sweat Republic: I have only taken Surfset but LOVED it. The instructors are great and so laid-back. I would definitely recommend trying it out.
  • Wheel House SF: I have taken two different cycling classes here: WH Rhythm and WH Smart Rhythm. Both are 45 minutes and you focus more on adding core and arm work to your spin workout then just legs. WH Smart Rhythm includes weights which was super intense and hard.
  • The Pad Yoga: I don’t want to get into trying to find a yoga studio in SF in this post, but The Pad is super gorgeous and laid back. It isn’t heated but is still vinyasa flow. If you want a relaxing class, this is the studio for you.
  • CorePower Yoga: This is a chain so you get all the yoga-chain spa-like facilities (showers, lockers, boutique, etc.). I took a kind of Bikram class here. I liked the studio and the instructor but don’t like non-flow yoga so there you go.
  • Yoga Flow SF: The closest thing to a yoga studio that I like so far in SF. Too much chanting for me but this might become my go-to studio just because I can walk to it from my apartment and it’s heated vinyasa.

ClassPass Pros

  • Most classes have a drop-in rate at around $20-$30. If you go to more than four classes a month, it’s paid for itself.
  • A ton of studios participate. Some really great ones in SF include StudioMix, FlyWheel and Barry’s Boot Camp.
  • Website is super user-friendly to use (ex-digital/social nerd coming out) and really easy to sign up for classes.
  • When you book a class, you can add it to your GoogleCal with a click. I live and die by my GoogleCal.

ClassPass Cons

  • You can only take three classes at per studio per month. I totally understand why but I found a yoga studio I like (finally!) but can’t commit to a month unlimited because I wasn’t going enough anymore when I was in Pittsburgh.
  • If you cancel a class or miss it within 24 hours, you get charged $20. Things come up (especially with me!) so this is a serious pain.

All in all, I would recommend this if you’re into doing lots of different workouts and don’t want to pay for a gym membership just for group classes. If you want to sign-up with ClassPass, you can use this link to skip the wait list!

I was compensated with a complementary ClassPass but all opinions are my own.

Chat with me:
Do you have any questions for me about ClassPass? What type of classes would you like to take? Do you have problems committing to plans like me?

Surfset Review

surfset sweat republic san francisco | almost getting it together

First off, I want to thank every one of you who read Tuesday’s post. Each and every one of your comments, shares and texts about it made my day. It’s a piece of writing I’m genuinely proud of so I’m happy it resonated with you.

One of the best parts of living in a real city and not Pittsburgh is there are a TON of new gyms and workouts to try. (Side note: I miss Amazing Yoga and my monthly unlimited pass more than you could ever imagine.) I’d read about Surfset on blogs before and thought that I would love this type of workout and it would hopefully improve my surfing next time I got on a board (aka as soon as the waves out here stop being flat). Basically Surfset is kind of a mix of yoga, pilates and actual surfing moves (pop-ups, fake duck dives, etc.) on a 6-foot foam board balanced on stability balls.

surfset sweat republic san francisco | almost getting it together

You can see the board set up here and also me doing a fake-ish plank.

Apparently Surfset was also on Shark Tank, which I know about from their website. My only knowledge of Shark Tank comes from Good Morning America which also brings me all of my knowledge about Dancing with the Stars, The Bachelor and all other ABC shows I don’t watch besides Scandal.

I took the class at Sweat Republic in the Marina District, a few blocks from my house. Both instructors I have taken from have been great. The playlist is awesome and an hour is gone literally when you feel like you’ve just walked in the door. They offer a lot of great feedback and different modifications for different levels. My core and arms were definitely sore the next day.

surfset sweat republic san francisco | almost getting it together

Attempting dancer’s pose.

If you’ve ever done yoga on a paddle board it’s vaguely similar. I officially haven’t done yoga on a paddle board but maybe drunkenly tried to be a show off and do a few poses on one once and promptly fell into the lake. Anyway, I have fitness class ADD and typically am miserable 10 minutes into a group fitness class but I actually look forward to Surfset.

Special thanks to my girl Kay for all the photos. If you don’t follow her blog you should really start now.

Chat with me:
Group fitness – yay or nay? Have you tried Surfset? Do you have any questions about it for me?

Lighten Up On Yourself

I’ve been writing this post on and off in my head for a few weeks now. I’ve always been of the camp that if you put your life out there for the public, whether it be as a celebrity or politician or especially as a blogger, you have a responsibility to be a positive influence on other people. I’m really sick of all the “I can’t eat this, I can’t eat that” when really, the verb you are looking for is WON’T. You won’t eat something because you are afraid of it. And you know what? You’re teaching these young girls and boys who look up to you really terrible habits.

You might think you have great habits because you’re at the gym six days a week and you meal prep and you eschew basically any semblance of pleasure in your life because it might not be “healthy”. Stop with the “I deserve this” food and rewarding yourself with food and cheat days and all that shit. Stop with the 80/20. Just be a real person, please. Eat real food and stop waiting for an award for it because that carrier pigeon got lost in a storm somewhere.

If you haven’t put two and two together, I’ve definitely been really hard on myself in the past. I’ve went from a crazy party girl who would way overindulge to a super restrictive, absolutely miserable bitch. I’ve spent weeks eating whatever I want and lost weight and spent weeks running 40+ miles and eating super clean and gaining weight. I’ve loved my body and hated my body at basically every weight I’ve been. Yes, I do get on the scale every day, because I care about keeping myself accountable, but I also have learned to accept the number that is on the scale and know that I can only change what I do today. There is no use in being mad at Past Cassie for eating one too many pieces of chocolate the night before.

red wine and chocolate | almost getting it together

Saturday morning Cassie cannot hate Friday night Cassie for this.

I’ve read the posts. I’ve had that mindset. I’ve thought, “Eating in moderation means you have no self-control.” You know what, I do actually have self-control and maybe I will just have that frozen yogurt not because I need it, but because I want it. I look at food as food – I don’t put it on a pedestal. I mean yeah, obviously it’s fuel for your body, whatever, but it’s also basically the basis of every culture ever. Do you think people want to visit Italy to eat grilled chicken breasts and non-starchy vegetables and whatever other dumb foods are on your safe list? No. They want to visit Italy to eat pasta and drink wine and maybe have gelato twice a day (not speaking from experience or anything).

fraiche frozen yogurt | almost getting it together

Fraiche frozen yogurt definitely happened last weekend with Gina.

Do I need to clean up my diet a little bit right now? Probably, because I like being a size 0 and should be buying things for my apartment and not new jeans and I like how I look at a certain weight. Do I want to be that girl who won’t go have a margarita with her friends because OMG ADDED SUGAR? No. Trust me, being super skinny and having a six pack is super awesome. So is having a social life.

Am I eating McDonalds and donuts and junk every day? Also no. I’m eating mostly clean but not beating myself up over a glass of wine or a cup of ice cream. I know in the past I’ve been all “I don’t eat this, I don’t eat that” but you know what? I was so boring and frustrating to be around I was basically a basic bitch at that point.

Do you think a boy wants to be with a girl who can’t go get a drink with him because the extra 120 calories will put her over the edge? The short answer to that is no. Do you think a girl wants to be with a guy who eats only broccoli and tilapia and protein shakes? No, and not just because tilapia is the poor man’s salmon.

Being able to indulge once in a while is another form of self-control. I hate to break it to you, self-imposed restrictive diets are just a different form of disordered eating because you think yogurt and oatmeal are the enemy or whatever. No, you’re the enemy to your own happiness.You need to lighten up on yourself. Let yourself enjoy your life a little bit. Trust me, you won’t gain five hundred pounds. You probably won’t even gain five pounds. What you will gain is a life that is a bit richer and more exciting than heating up another bowl of brussels sprouts and grass fed beef and some avocado for the 300th day in a row.

Chat with me:
No questions, just your thoughts!

Race Recap: Nike Women’s Half-Marathon SF

nike women's half marathon | almost getting it together

When I put two and two together that I would be in San Francisco during Nike Women’s Half-Marathon SF I knew I had to somehow get a bib. I get race envy and would just be annoyed looking at Instagram all weekend if I didn’t run it. Nike doesn’t let you transfer registration blah blah blah, but with a quick Google search (*cough* at the bar Sunday night *cough*), I found someone selling theirs and had a bib for the race this weekend (maybe something I should consider for SeaWheeze next year since I just completely forgot about registration).

I absolutely loved Nike Women’s Half-Marathon DC. Things in my life were at a completely different stage six months ago for that race than they are now so maybe that was part of it. Also, Nike races are amazingly well produced and the gear is the cutest. Oh, and Tiffany’s medals. So I knew I wanted to run Nike Women’s Half-Marathon SF but when registration opened in May, I just didn’t know where I would be in my life in October (irony) and knew I wanted to do a fall marathon (more irony) so I didn’t apply.

nike women's half marathon | almost getting it together

I totally bought more Nike gear I don’t need this weekend.

This race was basically the same, production wise. There was an amazing expotique (I didn’t have to pick up my bib so I just did a quick run-through to try and change my pace bracelet… no luck, but more on that later), finisher’s celebration, etc. etc. Shalane Flannigan was there (again). I thought about asking her for a picture when I walked by her Sunday morning but then also felt weird about it. She is so pretty in real life and just has this really strangely calm energy about her.

I always want to PR but also wanted to focus on just running a race to have fun, not to feel disappointed at the end. I had a lot on my mind, had spent the past two-ish weeks crying every day about something and oh yeah, trying to find an apartment in SF is a nightmare. Emily texted me to say good luck (and more importantly to have fun) and after chatting with her while walking from the hotel to Union Square, I got in the “have fun” mindset.

nike women's half marathon | almost getting it together

I just can’t with all the branding. Too cute.

The girl whose bib I bought was in the 10:00-10:59 corral but I needed to be in the 8:00-8:59 minute corral. I spent a lot of time feeling bummed about them not letting me move forward (when you’re stressed you focus on the. dumbest. shit) but on Sunday morning, I just walked in the 8:00 corral and no one stopped me.

The course was really great and I wanted to use this race to a) get a long run in for the week b) check out some running routes in my new city and c) have fun. It started in Union Square, through the Tenderloin, Alamo Square and into Golden Gate Park. From there, you run through Richmond, into the Presidio, past Chrissy Field and into the Marina Green, AKA my new backyard. My dad and I joked that if I run it next year I’ll be able to walk home.

The temperature was perfect (duh, it’s SF the temp is always perfect) but it was super foggy out. I felt really good starting out and also noticed that other people who should not have been in the 8:00 corral were in the 8:00 corral. People, please – go to the pace corral you should be running in. It’s net time, not gun time, so please please stop making everyone weave around you when you stop to walk 1/2 mile in.

Around mile two I spotted the 1:50 pace group. I ran a couple miles with them but then fell back… I was watching my watch and their pace was a little aggressive (now I know why) and I didn’t want to kill myself knowing there were some intense hills near the end of the race.

So, since I didn’t have my name on a bib I couldn’t look up my time (totally forgot to look up my bib number and threw it out!), I went by my watch. According to my watch, the course was 13.29 miles (and I noticed a lot of photos tagged with #werunsf also had that magic 13.3 number…) and I ran that distance in 1:52:07, so a PR of 50 seconds or so. It was an 8:26 pace which I was happy about.

nike women's half marathon | almost getting it together

Stretch area at the end of the race where I kind of half-ass foam rolled for a couple minutes.

Most of my miles were low 8:10s and 8:20s, one sub-8, and then two slower miles: a 9:24 on mile 11 with that insane hill in the Presidio (which would have been beautiful if the fog had burned off by then) and then my last mile was an 8:38 because I was just so beat by mile 11.

MORE IMPORTANTLY: I had fun. I was smiling most of the race, even on that awful hill in the Presidio (Ragnar DC, you taught me well). I think I hit that runner’s high. So this year out of five races (not counting the AEO 5K I ran a PR in – 24:59 haha), I really only had one race I was miserable during (minus the last three miles of Pittsburgh due to my hangover).

It was weird though… I was so happy about my PR but not elated like I was at the end of DC. It didn’t even feel too special to me after the race. I kind of just went through the motions then went to find my dad once I finished. I didn’t take many photos or even any of me post-race (but I looked terrible). I just got up that morning, didn’t overthink anything and ran. I don’t know if I’m just so used to races now (this was my 11th half-marathon and 4th this year) or if I was just so preoccupied with everything else going on in my life that the sparkle was gone. Really hoping it’s the later.

A note though: I was really sore Tuesday. Monday I felt okay, went to yoga to stretch out, thought I was fine. Tuesday, DOMs set in and hard. My recovery run Wednesday hurt until about two miles in (but all of my runs hurt until two miles in, let’s be real).

Chat with me:
Do amazing things ever begin to feel routine to you? Have you ever run a Nike race? (You should.) What things do you get envious if you’re missing out on?

Why I’m Jealous of Non-Runners

why i'm jealous of non-runners | almost getting it together

Allegedly, I love running. Why would I ever be jealous of non-runners? People are “jealous” of my will-power, my dedication, my… whatever. No no, don’t be jealous of me. I’m jealous of you.

J was working on a project for a running brand a couple months ago and was obviously chatting with me about it because, running. He said there are basically two types of people – those who “have to run” and those who “need to run”. The people who have to run, he said, are the people who wear the “I Hate Running” shirts and actually mean it.

The people who need to run are people like me who get cranky and bitchy and irritable if they don’t run. In our heads, we start getting muscle atrophy after not running for more than two days. (I actually thought I was getting muscle atrophy in Europe like 7 years ago when the airline lost my bag with my running shoes in… I cried every night.)

So why am I jealous of non-runners? On average, I spend roughly eight hours a week running. That’s an entire workday. I can tell you the last time I slept in on a Saturday and didn’t do a long run was the last time I was in Portland. That is literally the last Saturday I didn’t run at least 13 miles. My alarm goes off anywhere between 6-7 a.m. on a Saturday morning and if all goes according to plan, I’m out the door by 8 a.m. What does a non-runner do on Saturday morning? I have no idea, but probably it involves sleeping, relaxing and eating a bagel.

why i'm jealous of non-runners | almost getting it together

Runners’ Saturday morning breakfast: Gus.

When I’m not running, I’m probably thinking about running or doing something related to running. Yoga, despite the fact that I love it, is a necessity for my ever-tight hips and calves that just want to bulk up. There’s another four hours a week for at least three classes. My goal for October is to actually cross-train (i.e. swim and bike), so there is another three hours a week. Can’t forget strength training – two more hours. We’re at about 16 hours a week working out, which basically means I’m working a full-time job seven days a week at this point.

why i'm jealous of non-runners | almost getting it together

Casual three and a half hours spent running on a Saturday morning.

People think running is cheap, but it isn’t. Most races are at least $100. I go through four or five pairs of running shoes a year, which we’ll round up to $1000 total. Since I do love fashion despite my penchant for denim shorties and racerback tanks in the summer, I  have an addiction to Lululemon and Nike which is not cheap. (Speed Shorts & Dry Fit for life.)

Non-runners don’t know what it is like to be constantly hungry. Runger is this crazy, knawing type of hunger that is all-consuming. When I wasn’t running a lot two years ago (maybe 12-15 miles a week, tops) I just didn’t have an appetite. It was kind of wonderful. I ate when I felt like it, I didn’t eat when I didn’t feel like it, and I just wasn’t constantly worried about my next meal.

why i'm jealous of non-runners | almost getting it together

1/3 of my long runs is spent thinking about what I’m going to eat that evening.

Let’s take a minute to discuss the current state of my body. My toes on my right foot are constantly in pain. I had a super cool blood blister on my foot since sometime in July. I don’t know what it’s like to not have legs that are a little tired all the time. My once sufficient seven hours of sleep have now been replaced by at least eight. Oh, and should we discuss the water retention?

The past few weeks I’ve hit the wall training. This morning (Monday morning) I had a great pace run (I typically do 8 miles in between my half-marathon and marathon pace, aiming for negative splits), I was having fun and felt good again. The two weeks previous, I couldn’t force myself out the door. Emily is constantly the kick in the ass that I need, which is why I love her so damn much:

why i'm jealous of non-runners | almost getting it together

Last Monday, I couldn’t do it. I made it out the door, on the trail, and my legs did not want to move. I was angry at a lot of things that morning, stressed out over stuff I needed to get done and the last thing I wanted to do was go spend over an hour running before work. I decided a half mile in I was over it and turned around. My mood and spirit suddenly lifted. Maybe that was what I needed, just an extra day off running.

People often say, “skip your workout, it’s just one day, what will it hurt”. Well, if I skipped my workout or run everyday that I wanted to (i.e. at least once a week) it would start to hurt my running performance. One every month or so, okay. One every week, no. Sorry, that advice is bad.

In summation, don’t be jealous of me. I’m jealous of you. I’m jealous of knowing what it’s like to have a morning all to yourself to do something besides run. I’m jealous of the fact that you don’t have to carry snacks in your bag lest the runger hits. I’m jealous that your body isn’t rebelling against you. I’m jealous of the freedom that not running allows you.

Chat with me:
Who/what are you jealous of? Are you a runner who’s jealous of a non-runner? Are you a non-runner who is jealous of runners? Is the grass just always greener on the other side? (Typically.)