Long Time, No Blog

Hi wonderful beings!

So, as maybe you have noticed, or maybe you haven’t, I haven’t updated in a while. I’m in my last semester of college and things have gotten way out of control – well that might be an exaggeration, but things have certainly taken precedence over blogging and more unfortunately, running.

So many unexpected things happened in the past few weeks and months.

1. Got through to a final round interview and was flown out for it. Ultimately was rejected.

Lesson learned? Honestly this sort of brought me back to my modeling days, where there is so much build up and everyone tells you that you’re great and that you’re going to make it…until they pull out the measuring tape and say “oh, we actually decided to go a different direction.” I.e. someone more “fit” for the job, in whichever definition of the word “fit.”

Second lesson learned? Be careful what you wish for. I wasn’t 100% set on the job, and having that mentality probably was telling that the job wasn’t for me anyway.

Third lesson learned? Rejection gives you the will to try anything possible because you have nothing left to lose and everything to gain.

My face when they rejected me.

My face when they rejected me. “Tell me it ain’t so!”

2. Running has not been prioritized and I feel silly for setting such a high goal for myself.

I came off of my back to back Fall/Winter marathon spree on such a high. BQ’d twice, felt incredible, like I had no limits.

Lesson learned? Accept that you will not meet your A or even B goals in some cases. This doesn’t mean you never will, but that the timing simply is not perfect.

Second lesson learned? Sleep and work sometimes have to be prioritized over running. I’m sure I could have killed myself to get a few extra runs in, but running isn’t supposed to make me miserable. It’s supposed to be there for me when I need it.

Third lesson learned? Don’t be so hard on yourself. I really have been regretting writing that silly post. But who cares? I wrote it with the intention of wanting to get there and I don’t need to feel embarrassed or bad for not following through. My life, my running.

3. I’m graduating in a month!

Thoughts:

1. I’m ready to graduate.

2. I’m scared to become financially independent.

3. I’m happy to be staying in NYC ( see no. 1 above).

Gorgeous NYC

Gorgeous NYC

4. I think I will miss having a broken up routine of class + breaks + internships etc.

5. I am excited to find my own apartment that I will be paying rent for.

6. I’m going to have to become really creative with lots of things. Namely food (why is food SO expensive!)

7. I feel like I’m hanging on a trapeze and I’m right at the cusp where I’m about to let go and try and catch the other bar.

Questions for you lovely folks:

1. What are your best budget tips?

2. Did you save money your first year out of college?

3. What are your best food tips to save money?

4. Any advice on how to become more calm with the idea of being financially independent?

xoxo

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Women’s Running Magazine

Hi everyone! Happy Monday!

Earlier today Women’s Running Mag posted my interview for their series Blogger on the Run [so amazing/honored!]

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Women’s Running: How would you describe yourself?

Michelle: 1/3 giraffe, 1/3 gazelle, 1/3 pizzavore. I’m 6 foot tall and love running!

WR: How did you begin running?

M: I started running in elementary school. We had a run club and would collect shoe charms on a ball chain for x amount of laps completed around the playground. Track and field in its earliest form for me!

WR: What type of run is your favorite?

M: Sometimes I love setting out on my weekly long runs…there is something so mind-clearing and inspiring about the journey aspect of a 20 miler. But I also love half-mile or mile repeats. Feeling fast is one of the best feelings a runner can have!

WR: You BQ-ed in two marathons this fall- Marine Corp and California International. How did you achieve such a big goal?

M: Yes! I sort of impulsively signed up for CIM. MCM was my goal/BQ race from the beginning of the year and my sister wasn’t planning on running MCM because of timing so we planned on signing up for CIM together and have it has her goal/BQ race. I hired a coach (Josh of Gotham City Runners) and used him for my 12 week training plan leading up to MCM to get super speedy..it worked. A big focus was doing a bulk of my long runs at MGP rather than the 10% slower pace that many recommend. I created a shorter training for myself on purpose so that I wouldn’t get burned out after MCM. I busted out a 15 minute PR and a BQ at MCM so I was just focused on maintaining my fitness and had the lure of CIM stringing me along. I definitely did not keep up with training as well as I should have but we both worked as a team at CIM and finished less than a minute apart.

WR: After a big 2013, what are your goals for this year?

M: I’m aiming for a PR at Brooklyn Half this year but I have so many other things going on so my main goal for 2014 is to be happy. Silly as it sounds, I’ve gotten my head wrapped around reaching so many goals and it gets exhausting! I’m graduating from NYU in May and am excited to see where I end up post-graduation! I know I’m running the TCS NYC Marathon in the Fall and I plan to enjoy every mile of it without the stress of a BQ or PR

WR: You mention on your blog that you are an army girlfriend. How has running helped you through times away from him?

M: Yes! My boyfriend was deployed in Afghanistan for the majority of 2013 and while he is Army, running Marine Corps Marathon was very relevant and it was definitely hard to maintain my composure during the race seeing all of the men and women in uniform. The training gave me something to focus on and distract myself. I only got to skype with him twice in 9 months so hitting the pavement and focusing on getting that elusive BQ I’ve always wanted was the best medicine for that time in my life!

WR: What keeps you inspired to keep running and training?

M: A lot of my inspiration comes from my lovely friends in the Twittersphere. Also just the lifestyle running brings for me is what is inspiring. I love being in shape, feeling great, and just going out for a run to clear my mind. I was left feeling unsure of what my limit was after MCM/CIM so that question is sort of what is pulling me along as well. Ideally a sub 3:20 would be in my future!

WR: What is your best advice for training in an urban environment like New York City?

M: Use your resources. They say we don’t have hills. I challenge you to Harlem Hill repeats! Also feeding off of the energy that all of the runners along West Side Highway or Central Park exude is extremely helpful. I am so much more inspired to run when its fall marathon season in NYC because I know everyone else is out there too!

WR: How do you reward yourself for reaching a goal or having a really great run?

M: Mostly with food! I don’t splurge often on food only because I’m on a college-budget but I’ll go out to brunch after long runs sometimes or buy myself some treats (ice cream, candy, ice cream and candy?!). My favorite is Sockerbit—it’s a Scandinavian candy shop in the West Village that brings me right back to my Finnish roots.

WR: Best running advice ever given or received?

M: To change your results, you have to change your training.

Want to read more about Michelle? Head over to Pawsitively Delightful and enter to win a year’s subscription to Women’s Running!

They were also so sweet in offering me a giveaway opportunity! For anyone who wants to win a one year subscription to the magazine, enter the giveaway on my blog’s Facebook site! You can click here or click on the image of the giveaway right below here!

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Safe Running in the Dark

March has been so long overdue! Seriously, despite being the shortest month, February will by far be the longest. Snow and cold weather can get atta here.

I started my training for Brooklyn Half sort of last week, sort of this week. I’m excited for the weather to become a bit warmer so that I can start going out in the mornings and not freeze to death. That being said, I feel like it isn’t sometimes the best idea to go out when you don’t have proper gear.

Gone for a Run had given me the chance to squash that problem! If you haven’t been on their site, go. It’s like a runner’s dream. They have everything from bib holders to cute graphic shirts to supplements. I found a product set that I was super interested in and wanted to test it out!

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The hat and the light are both from Gone for a Run and I think they are just so cool! The hat by itself looks like this:

My selfie doesn't compete with the Ellen/Oscar's selfie.

My selfie doesn’t compete with the Ellen/Oscar’s selfie.

It has a line of reflective material on the brim and it fits really well! It feels snug but not too tight. The material is light and moisture wicking. Best part? It has two POCKETS-one on each side with a zipper! You can store keys or gels there if you don’t have space elsewhere.

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The light clips on easily and doesn’t get in the way. It has settings for how much light you want on and it also has a setting for blinking. I think it is perfect for early AM/late PM running or just running in areas like trails that have uneven ground.

I have a matching set to giveaway! If you want to win the crazy-amazing hat and light to go with it, please click on the image below which will take you to my Facebook giveaway!

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Triple Threat

When it comes to training, I’ve found myself relying lately on three different liquids to keep me going (4 if you count water).

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Core Power

I was given Core Power product to try and I was immediately intrigued because of the amount of protein. With how much training I do, I really need the extra boost so this is a great way of getting it. It tastes good too! The chocolate might not taste like the best, heaviest, creamiest chocolate milkshake you’ve ever had but nobody is expecting that right? You can definitely tell it is a protein drink but I really like the flavor and think the fact that it is made from real milk helps! They make a light version with 20g of protein and a regular with 26g.

I gave some to my roommate to try and she brought her bottle with her to work. She’s a bartender and she noticed a difference in her stamina since she’s on her feet for sometimes 12 hours. A great product for multiple reasons.

Nuun

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Hats off to Nuun as always. Best hydrating supplement out there! Favorite flavors are lemonade, kona kola, cherry limeade. Definitely check out if you haven’t before.

Juice Press

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I have become in love with the green juices at Juice Press (obviously doesn’t have to be Juice Press’s juice if you have a juicer at home or you have another juicery of preference). They also host a weekly run club at their stores – Saturdays at 9am. We run and then we drink juice. Anyone and everyone is welcome!

tell me…

What supplements do you rely on during training?

Core Power was given to me as a sample and just as I did not pay for the product, they did not pay for this post.

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NuMetrex // Heart Rate Monitor Gear

Hey everyone! Long time no see, you guys have been hibernating as well? Now that I’m slowly crawling out of my bear cave, I’m getting pretty excited about the Spring (and the – gasp – 40 degree weather we’re having here in NYC!) It feels almost like summer. Keyword, almost.

About a month ago I was introduced to a product making its way into the market and it is a sports bra that goes by the name NuMetrex. Here’s a really cool intro video:

Amazing right? The video makes me want to get up and workout, and that’s how workout gear should be right? Basically they created this product because its a more comfortable way of getting HRM tracking without having the separate band. A lot of people suffer with difficulty with keeping the band up and tight around their waist so having it built in into clothing is a perfect way of handling that issue. Men’s clothing is available too!

They were bought out by adidas so everything has the backed quality of adidas which I love. It goes to show how great their product was if adidas decided they wanted in on the product!

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My takes on the bra:

1. Definitely a snug fit. They did some product testing and their first model didn’t have enough support so this one feels a little tighter than most bras maybe, but it isn’t restricting or constricting in anyway. Just hugs you a little tighter : )

2. Love the seamless! The entire bra is seamless so it doesn’t have any painful spots or points that jab or cut in.

3. Cute color! I was sent the berry/pink one and I think it’s so cute! Would definitely like to see them bring out some more colors as they go on.

4. Inserted HRM does not bother or add any discomfort.

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Putting into practice:

I was asked to come in and test out the HRM bra with the adidas miCoach app and get instructed on how to pair the two in real life.

Basically the app syncs with your HRM (doesn’t have to be the adidas brand one) and then you select what workout you want to do. You can download hundreds of workouts from the online site to your phone and it will step by step take you through workouts. Best part? It knows if you are doing it or not because of your HR! So for example, I chose do the sample 30 minute cardio workout (you can define it as running, walking, cycling, other etc) and got on the spin bike. It took me through a workout based on HR and told me to peddle faster or slower based on what HR I needed to hit. Was so cool! Such an amazing tool if you can’t get to (or afford) instructed spin classes all the time but have access to a bike.

Not only does it do that, but it can ALSO create a legit training plan for a race for you! The online version (which will sync with your phone) will ask you to input goals (time, pace etc), the date of the race, how many days you want to run, which days are rest days, and then it will generate a training plan for you and it will be your little virtual coach! I think this would be so much fun for someone who’s just starting out and might be interested in getting a semi-personalized plan!

Lastly, at the event I got to speak with Kim the product developer and I asked her a few quick questions.

1. What is your favorite sports bra color you guys have made?

My favorite color sports bra we ever did was a light mint – it was one of the development rounds on the bra you wore and it’s one of a kind (when we make a sample, we ask the mill to toss it in with whatever dye bath they are running that day – we’ve had some wacky colors but the mint was one that has stayed in my drawer).  Out of the colors we have today the blue is my favorite!

2. What is your favorite workout through the app?

My most favorite workouts on miCoach are in the Women’s Training section – the “30 minute Cardio” and the “Non-equipment training” in strength and flexibility.   Elliptical is my cardio equipment of choice – I’d love to run (that’s an exaggeration – slowly plod) around the neighborhood with my dog but my back and knees don’t like the pavement.  So, I do my cardio on an elliptical machine in the basement.  I enjoy the No Equipment needed workouts because I can add weights or cable machine in if I am at the gym – or I can do them in my bedroom if I can’t get to the equipment.

GIVEAWAY!

Yay, thanks to the lovely folks over at NuMetrex, they’re giving away one of their sports bras to one of you guys (actual HRM is not included but the bra fits any standard 2 snap HRM)! Follow this link to the giveaway and we’ll set you up with one if you are the lucky chosen one! (or click the image below!)

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Bari

Bari Studio: It’s pronounced “bah-ree” and maybe you’ve seen its infamous trampoline pictures on the internet or social media..!

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I was given the opportunity to try a class and since I had never been there before they suggested I do BariOne which is a sort of sampler class.

Studio

The studio was really cute–it was a very relaxed yet motivating environment and had all of the essentials like cubbies for items, locker room with showers and hair amenities, towels etc. What I also thought was cool was that they had metal water bottles that people could use during their class and then return afterwards. I thought it was neat, usually you just see studios pushing to sell bottles.

Class

I didn’t really know what to expect, I hadn’t been to a class before but I was so intrigued by the trampolines. Something about them just really stuck with me since I saw them for the first time. Such a neat concept.

Upon entering the class, everyone was given a heart rate monitor which was hooked up to a system that displayed our heart rates on a screen on one of the walls. I also really liked this feature because I’ve never been in a group fitness class other than spinning that has some type of in-class competition (like FlyWheel’s torque board). It showed everyone’s rate as well as displayed a color based on what intensity of heart rate you were in so it was easy to tell whether you were on point or not.

The BariOne class was divided into 3 parts: dance/cardio, trampoline work, and toning. Dance cardio was actually–and surprisingly–one of my favorite parts. I am terribly uncoordinated so seeing me flailing my arms trying to catch up to our flawless instructor Jenny was probably a sight to see. I was trying my hardest and I loved how active and fluid it was.

The trampoline work was hard!! It was hard on the thighs but it also required a bit of coordination and timing. I never fell off but I was definitely missing a few steps here and there.

Finally toning was pretty standard except we used these slider pads for burpees which I really liked. They also have resistance bands tied to the ceiling which I wish I could have sampled a bit more. Their classrooms are so unique and provide so much opportunity for variation.

Photo from LuckyMag.com

Photo from LuckyMag.com

Here’s a break down of their class formulation from their website:

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I would definitely go back to Bari, I really think they have a cool concept going on. They have locations in Tribeca, Hamptons (both NY) and they are opening up locations in Summit NJ and Newport Beach CA this year. Feel free to check their website for more deets.

Have you been to Bari? Have you ever used trampolines in a fitness class?

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Spring App

Calling all runners, joggers, sloggers, one-foot-in-front-of-the-others! Here is an app that might just be the next thing to get you out of the door (even in a polar vortex).

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It’s called Spring Moves and it’s created by a bunch of Swedes (so you know it’s good!) 100% not biased..okay, only a little, but even without the Swedish aspect, I still would think it’s an amazing app. (IT’S FREE, yep).

[Learn Swedish...Spring means "to run"!]

So what is it? It’s an app that tracks your run and gives you a customized playlist to the rhythm of your run. You configure it to find your running rhythm and then it’ll generate a playlist that fits your groove! Nothing like feeling the beat.

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I tested out the app myself after the friendly folks asked me to! I think it’s great and don’t really have any criticisms. I ended up changing the songs frequently only because I didn’t pick any specific genres so I think I will do that next time. Works great and the GPS seemed to be on point as well. No bugs or glitches from my experience…but that’s just my experience..so I am asking you to test out the app for yourself!

See what you think and it would help them greatly to fill out a review on iTunes or find them on Twitter and link up with them since they’re just starting out!

(only catch is that you’re limited to a number of minutes of “free” use [i believe you get 180 minutes free?]..then you can pay because it obviously costs them to stream the music — super cheap like $2.99 unlimited or 99¢ for a “spring”)

Thanks runner buddies, now go out there and get your run on with a bunch of free tunes!

What did you think of Spring? What do you like about it–What would you change?

 

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