Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tales of a First-Time Online Dater...

Oh boy.  Where to begin this post?  It's hard to believe I made it into my early 30's without ever having dipped my toes in the mysterious, murky waters that make up the online dating pool, but it's true.  Well, up until 3 months ago that is.  Since this summer is all about self discovery, finding my path and the road to personal fulfillment, I decided to take the plunge.  I signed up with one of the largest sites and decided to try it for 3 months and see what happened.  (1 in 5 relationships start online, or something like that?!)  Now that those 3 months are coming to a close, I'd like to sum up my experience. 

 
All in all, I think it was a positive experience.  Unfortunately, I did not meet the love of my life, but I was also lucky enough not to meet any weirdos or creepers (in person that is).  All of the guys I went out with were really nice and pretty 'normal'.  I just didn't feel a romantic connection with any of them.  Most of the dates were pretty standard dinner & drinks but I did go rock climbing on one of the dates, which I thought was a great idea on his part and REALLY fun!  I always prefer doing something active to just sitting around. 
 
I was really excited for about the first month of this experience, but for some reason my enthusiasm drastically waned after that.  I'm not sure why, but maybe it's a hint that online dating is not for me?  I love meeting new people, but I think I prefer meeting people more casually and not in such a 'staged' environment.  I guess the thing about online dating for me is that it seems kind of backwards to the way I view dating in general.  I like to get to know someone in real life first, then decide I 'like' them, and then decide to start dating.  Online dating jumps right into dating, and then getting to know someone, and then deciding whether or not you like them!  Backwards right?!  I know it's worked for a lot of people, even some I know personally, but just like every person is so different, I think our approach to finding 'The One' will vary widely.  Who knows,  I may try it again, this time on a different site, or perhaps in a different city if I end up moving, but for now I need a break.  I am busy trying to figure out my next big steps in life and don't think I have the proper focus to devote to it.  There are too many other things I need to focus on now, and I'm hoping once I find my path, that will lead me not only to the truest expression of who I am, but the person that is right for me as well.
 
 
 
Ok, now for the fun part.  I am going to give you a general rundown of some of the biggest 'offenses' I noticed during this experiment.  I don't want to post any real names or photos to embarrass anyone (believe me there were some real gems!) but I will generalize:
 
1.  Your Screen Name - If it resembles any of these - SexyMotherF, DevilRob, CheapSins, ZombieStomper, CannedBeef, ChocolateFudge69, YoungBuck, LadiezMan - No.  You pretty much lost me already.  There is a good chance I am not even going to read your profile.
 
2.  Grammar, Misspelled Words, Punctuation - I can forgive one, maybe two, misspelled words in your profile, but if the entire thing is full of misspelled words, incomplete sentences, text slang (ur for your), incoherent thoughts, words that are not capitalized, and sentences that are missing punctuation, then No.  You either didn't put any effort into writing your bio, or you just have no mastery of the English language and in that case, I am afraid that if we meet in person I might not even understand what you're saying. 
 
3.  One Word Emails - Yes this happened.  I received messages that simply said "D*MN" or "HOT".  Nope.  If you can't craft a thoughtful email consisting of at least a few sentences, this is already going nowhere.
 
4.  Age - If you are OLD ENOUGH TO BE MY FATHER - NO.  It's absolutely not happening.  I got so many messages from guys that were 10-20 years outside my stated age range.  I put it there for a reason.  I'm absolutely not dating anyone that could have fathered me.  GROSS.
 
5.  Selfies - These were all over the place.  Shirtless selfies (tons), selfies in the bathroom (gross), selfies with children in the background. You would not believe how many people's photos consisted ENTIRELY of selfies!  Are you kidding me?  If you can't find two to four decent photos that someone else took of you, preferably in some kind of social setting, then I'm already afraid of you.
 
 
Ok your turn!
 
Have you ever tried online dating?  Any success stories?  Any horror stories?!
 
If not, how did you meet your partner or spouse?
 
 
 
 


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I Tried It! Frog Fuel Review

As you know, a few weeks ago I was contacted by Frog Fuel and asked if I'd like to sample and give away some of their new product - an easy to digest protein shot.  CheapRunnerMichelle was the lucky winner of the giveaway, and I finally received and tried my samples a few days ago!  Here's what I thought about them...

 
 
I was sent three 1 oz packets to try and I've used two so far, on two separate occasions. 
 
On Sunday, I decided to try the Frog Fuel shot post-workout.  I did an hour-long body weight/moderate HIIT circuit workout and took the first shot immediately following that workout.  I ripped off the top tab and sucked it down.  What I noticed right away was that the consistency was a bit more liquid and less gooey/thick than gels are, which was a nice unexpected surprise.  The taste wasn't bad either.  It is berry flavored and somewhat reminded me of cough medicine, so take that how you will depending on whether you love or hate cough syrup!  The flavor wasn't intense and I liked that there was no lingering aftertaste.  Once I finished the packet, I didn't notice the flavor sticking around on my tongue. 
 
This isn't a meal replacement (only 60 calories per shot) so of course I still needed to eat after my workout, but I really liked that this little shot delivers 15 grams of protein! That's incredible. I also liked that I could get this into my system immediately following my workout.  I'm always hearing about that 30-60 min optimal refueling window post-workout and I have to admit, I rarely meet that.  If I'm at the gym, I come home, shower, and then eat, which is usually longer than 1 hour post workout.  If I'm running, same thing.  I'm not hungry immediately after a run, so I shower and then eat, usually again, just missing the window.  So I like that I can get some protein to my muscles immediately with these shots, and then refuel with real food on my regular schedule.
 
On Monday, I decided to try a Frog Fuel shot pre-workout.  I was going swimming, so I took the shot about 10 mins before I began.  I did an hour of laps in the pool.  A portion of the laps were at a constant pace, but I also did some sprints for the last 15 mins of the workout.  I had only planned to swim for an hour, but I definitely could have kept going.  I felt like I had extra energy because my muscles were not sore from the circuit workout I did the day before.  I still had to refuel post-workout with food of course.  For some reason, swimming makes me about 1000x hungrier than running does.  If anyone can explain that phenomena, I'm all ears! 
 
When I woke up Tuesday, I had no soreness from the previous two days' workouts.  I think this just reiterates the fact that I need to be consistent with getting enough protein in my diet to refuel my muscles.  The Frog Fuel shot also contains an amino acid called Taurine, which is said to decrease muscle soreness after physical activity. This is a supplement I don't have experience with so I can't say if it's the protein or this addition that helped but either way, I really liked these shots.  If I wasn't on such a strict budget at the moment, I would definitely buy a pack, simply because I like the convenience and ability to easily add 15 grams of protein into my diet every day. 
 
In my opinion, I think these shots are best used as a recovery tool for muscles after working out and for adding protein to your diet.  However, I'm not sure they'd be an ideal source of fuel during racing or endurance events because they contain no sugar or carbohydrates. 
 
 
Your turn!
 
Have you tried any new fitness or endurance foods or fuel lately?
 
How much protein do you shoot for each day?  I try to get at least half my body weight (in grams).
 
 
 
*Disclosure:  Frog Fuel provided me with samples for this post, but I was not compensated in any way.  Reviews of the product are entirely my own.
 
 
 
 


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Some things I've learned this week...

This week has been all over the place for me.  I've been cross-training like a maniac, hanging out with some kids, meeting new people, and finally getting in some quality book time.  All of this activity has led to some realizations and lessons (some profound, some not so much!) that I'd like to share...


1.  Pay attention when grocery shopping. 
I accidentally grabbed the sweetened vanilla almond milk when I ran into the store and did not notice until after I got home.  I have thus spent the past week trying to choke down this unbearable sugar water concoction (I mean I didn't want my $2.99 to go to waste!).  If you are looking into trying almond milk, I would advise you to steer clear of the sweetened vanilla varieties!  I usually buy unsweetened regular or unsweetened vanilla which are worlds better.


2.  There are certain things in life that never fail to give me a rush each time I do them.
This week's list includes:  Telling the truth; Feeding the birds; Smiling at strangers; and Recycling!



3.  I am apparently the only person who shares lanes at the pool.
I was swimming laps this week at the gym and the pool was full.  Not once, but twice, two older gentlemen approached me asking if they could share my lane.  I said yes.  I always say yes.  I actually kind of like sharing lanes because they are so wide to begin with - I don't know what to do with all that unused space.  Anyway, I swim for quite a awhile when I do, so the first guy finished and left and all the lanes continued to be full, so a few minutes later another man came out of the locker room looking for a lane, and also approached me.  I'm not sure why they approach me.  Perhaps since I am a pint-size human they are thinking I probably don't need the whole lane?  Or I've been missing my ideal dating demographic this whole time and I should be focusing my search on males aged 50 and older??!


4.  You will always be your parents' little girl.
Likewise, their overprotectiveness will increase exponentially the further the distance you are from them, multiplied by the amount of time you are single.  Mathematical fact right there.


5.  Midwesterners are SO NICE.
I don't know that I've ever met someone born and bred in the Midwest, but I met some this weekend, and man are they nice! I mean just really sweet people.  Such nice manners, so friendly.  I've never travelled to the Midwest so perhaps it's time I make a trek out there.


6.  Sharknado.
This is apparently a real movie.  And with all the buzz about it on social media, I think it's inevitable I will end up watching it at some point in the near future.
 
7.  It's actually possible to go into Target and come out with ONLY the things on your list.
I thought this was an urban legend.  I didn't think it would ever actually happen to me.  Well folks it did!  I must have blacked out ala Will Ferrell in Old School, because when I got back to my vehicle in the parking lot, I was surprised to find the only things in my bag were:  Cereal, milk, granola bars and bananas.  I have absolutely no idea how this happened.


8.  There really are angels among us.
I have always believed in the kindness of strangers; I always give people the benefit of the doubt, and I always think people have the best intentions.  Some people call me na├»ve for thinking this, but this weekend I experienced just that - an act of kindness directed at me from a perfect stranger - and it just reinforced all my hippy-dippy beliefs.  When you think of all of us on this planet as one big connected family, it makes sense to look out for one another, whether we know each other or not.


9.  After finally completing Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, I now actually understand the reference to The Running Man.
The book talks about the evolutionary significance of our species being able to run long distances in order to survive extinction.  We are actually, and essentially, born to run.  Loved the book.  Currently looking for recommendations for more along the same lines.



And lastly,
10.  Today was apparently National Ice Cream Day.
I have no idea how to celebrate this.  #lactoseintolerant


Now it's your turn!

Have you learned anything this week that you'd like to share?

Are you from the Midwest?

Do you have any book recommendations for me?



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hump Day Motivation

Uh oh.  Guess what day it is? Guess. What. Day. It. Is.  Huh? Anybody?



Hello, my current favorite commercial.  Do you ever wish you could meet the geniuses behind your favorite commercials? I imagine this wildly creative jovial (and of course HOT) man who would make me laugh every second of the day, and so yeah, he should basically be my husband. 

For 9-5ers, Wednesday is a small victory in the workweek.  You've made it through more than half of the week and it's all 'downhill' from there.  Or at least that's how I used to think about it when I was working.  Ugh, what a horrible way to think about life though isn't it?  Wishing away minutes, hours, and days of your life just to get to the next weekend?  I spent so much time doing that, and I'm so afraid of getting trapped and falling into that mindset again.  But, I've been finding it's going to take a lot of hard work to find true fulfillment.  I mean as funny as that commercial is, look at those people in the cubicles.  There is a reason the typical stereotype of a dull drab existence inside the cubes is out there. 

Lately, I've been feeling kind of stuck.  I have a vision for the way I want my life to be, but I'm not sure how to get there.  It's like I can see the end point, but I'm trudging through the forest with no map and an assortment of different trails to take.  Case in point, this is usually how my weekend hikes go.  I often go out on new trails, with no map, and no companion.  Not the smartest idea.  Sometimes, I turn around and other times I keep going until I find the end point.  I guess that's the way my life is going right now as well.  It's just me finding me way. Sometimes getting lost, sometimes turning back, but I have to have faith that if I keep going, or keep trying I will get 'there'.

I have a whole board of inspirational mantras, quotes, and statements on Pinterest that I read when I'm feeling directionless or hopeless.  I'd like to share some I'm currently loving, in case you are in need of some inspiration or motivation on this Hump Day.

 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 
And one more, just because I really like all of you :)
 


 
 
Questions for today:
 
Do you have any favorite quotes, mantras, or words that inspire you?
 
Are you on Pinterest?  If so, can I follow you?!  I'm Jillyruns
 

 



Friday, July 12, 2013

Frog Fuel Winner, Friday Faves (Coconut Edition) & July Squat Challenge

Happy Friday everyone! I hope everyone had a great week :) 

A winner has been chosen for the Frog Fuel giveaway!  I used Google's random.org List Randomizer to generate a winner from the commenters on that post and CheapRunnerMichelle has won the 3 sample pack - Congratulations!  If you would send an email to me at run379@yahoo.com with your mailing address, I will get that information over to Mike at Hubpages and he will send out your package.  I contacted Mike earlier this week because I had not yet received my samples and he advised there was a delay because of the July 4th holiday last week.  So, perhaps you and I will be sampling them together and we can share our reviews :)


List Randomizer

There were 2 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

  1. CheapRunnerMichelle
  2. Deborah Kelleman
Timestamp: 2013-07-12 17:40:45 UTC







Ok now for a few Friday Faves.  I don't know if it's because of the extremely steamy weather we're having lately that's perhaps putting my mind in a tropical mood, but I am obsessed with all things COCONUT right now!  I feel like coconut is kind of a love/hate type food.  You either really like it, or you really don't.  For those that do love it like I do, I'm going to highlight a few of my favorite coconut infused food items for you: 



1.  LUNA Bar - Chocolate Dipped Coconut flavor




So good!!  I like to stash LUNA Bars in my bag because I am the kind of person who always like to have snacks on hand.  I can only go a couple hours without food before I get really cranky or get a terrible headache.  I had been wanting to try this flavor since I saw it came out a few months ago, and I finally got my hands on it at Target the last time I was there.  It is not too sweet but it's super satisfying.  I also picked up OliveToRun's favorite flavor (Carrot Cake) while I was there, so that's next on my list to try. 

 
 
2.  ZICO Chocolate Coconut Water
 



 
I have been a fan of coconut water for some time now and I've tried a bunch of different flavors and brands.  I really love the refreshing taste of plain coconut water, but this chocolate flavor is such a treat!  It's non dairy which is awesome for me and it's just sweet and chocolately enough not to be overbearing.  It's not thick like chocolate milk so that might throw some people off, but if you are feeling adventurous I would definitely recommend at least trying a bottle - let me know what you think!
 
 
3.  So Delicious Coconut Almond "Ice Cream" Bars


I mentioned these in the Fitness Survey Linkup a few posts back, but these are my latest evening treat!  The combination of coconut ice cream and nuts is soooo good! Even if you are normally a dairy ice cream lover, I would recommend giving these a try if you love coconut flavored anything.  My sister eats dairy and just recently told me she eats these as well!


So, now that I'm sufficiently starving let's talk workouts!! 

Last month I got hooked on the Plank A Day challenge and actually saw excellent results from it!  I varied my planks from day to day so that I could work different muscles and I wouldn't get bored.  (If you follow me on Instagram, you saw my daily postings!)  I took a baseline plank June 1st in straight plank position and recorded a 3:08 plank that first day.  My goal was to double my time from the beginning of the month and on June 30th I performed a straight arm plank and held it for 7:11!!  I think the idea of competing against myself is what really pushed me.  It's the same principal as running.  A lot of running and fitness in general is mental.  You are always try to push yourself to do just a little bit more, go a little bit further, a little bit faster than you did before.  Not all my planks during the month were epic but when I was really in the zone, it's amazing how long I held that thing!  Just another life lesson learned from achieving a fitness goal - You are Stronger than You Think.  Never forget that :)

So for July I wanted to move away from the arms a bit and focus on legs.  I chose the 30 Day Squat Challenge and got a few Facebook friends to join in as well.  This is what I'm doing:

 

I love doing squats so I'm definitely enjoying this one! I think I may start adding weights to some of the reps too.  I also really like the wall sit challenge that Jacqueline at SkinnyChickBlog is doing so I may start to add some of those in on the 'rest' days prescribed above. 

Well there you have it.  A little of this, a little of that!  I hope everyone has a great weekend.


Questions for today:

Do you like coconut as much as I do?  Or are you on the other side of the fence?

Are you into Fitness challenges? Are you doing any for the month of July?




Monday, July 8, 2013

My weekend: A Wedding Induces Some Deep Life Thoughts

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!  I just got in from a 5 day trip to Pennsylvania to visit family and attend a wedding.  Can I just say, I can't BELIEVE July 4th has come and gone already.  And for that matter, what happened to the entire first 6 months of this year?  I don't know if it's just because of my current circumstances and how much my life has changed from January to now, but this year is literally just flying.  I wonder if anyone else feels that way?

If you haven't already, don't forget to enter my Frog Fuel giveaway here!  I haven't received the samples yet so I can't write a review, but as soon as I do I will put it up. 

Now, on to this weekend.  I arrived back home at the end of last week to find Pennsylvania just as hot and humid as Baltimore.  I still managed to get a few workouts in but the HEAT was intense!  I am a summer girl all the way and love hot weather but I think what has been killing my outdoor workouts lately is the humidity.  It's been at or over 75-80% for the past 2 weeks.  Running in that kind of humidity is just plain harder.  If I am already soaked the minute I step out the door, I know I'm in for a beast of a run.  Anyway, I did manage to get in a nice long bike ride one day, a 5k run the day of the wedding and I swam some laps at the neighborhood pool yesterday as well. 

But despite the humidity, the weather really was gorgeous and my cousins had a beautiful summer day to celebrate their wedding.  I always hoped to be a summer bride so if/when I ever get married, I hope I get a hot beautiful day just like this!  The festivities started out on Friday evening with a welcome dinner that included a live Mariachi band!  My cousins are from Texas, and his bride-to-be is of Mexican descent.  She had a lot of family that traveled from Mexico to Pennsylvania for the wedding which was pretty awesome.  So, Mariachi band it was.  And they rocked it! 
If only I knew how to salsa.  Coincidentally, that is actually how my cousin and his new wife met (salsa dancing).
 
 
The wedding the next day was gorgeous as well.  It included a half-Spanish half-English ceremony followed by a reception at a picturesque country club.  It was in fact, the same country club my sister's wedding took place at 3 years earlier.  Being back there evoked some pretty strong memories and feelings which I'll talk about below.  But first some pictures.
 

The newly married, happy couple.  She was a stunning bride.
 
 
Family photo - missing 1 sister who couldn't make it up from Atlanta.  As my friend said, I apparently missed the memo to wear black.  What can I say, I like to be different :)
 
 
There is nothing quite like a wedding to give hope to the world that true love really does exist...and remind you just how single you are! HA.  Three summers ago when my sister was married at this very same place, my life was drastically different.  I was with someone back then, and when you attend weddings with a plus one it makes you think a lot about the day you might get married.  Not so much when you are flying solo.  Almost all of my close friends, sisters, cousins, etc are now married and many have kids, and it is on occasions like this that I can't help but feel kind of sad and left out.  I've been attending or been part of friends' and family members' weddings since about the age of 21 so that's a good solid 13 years of watching other people get married, being a bridesmaid (I swear I am like Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses - I have THAT many bridesmaids gowns!), planning bridal showers, then planning baby showers, and I can't help but wonder "When is it my turn?".  I don't think 10 years ago I would have thought I would be at the place I am now, but I guess that's the thing about life, you never really know what is going to happen, do you?  Even the best laid plans can get foiled. 
 
I've done a lot of work on my life and on myself the past two years and trying 'figure out' my life's path.  But I started thinking this weekend, why do I have to have my entire life figured out before I get to meet my 'person'?  Sometimes it's just hard and lonely going life alone and I wish there was someone else along for the ride.  I'm not sure why some people meet their person in high school or college and get to figure out life together, and I have to do it alone right now, but there must be a message or a purpose I'm missing. 

Upon recommendation from Chelsea over at Life is a Sunset, I started following and receiving emails from Mastin Kipp at The Daily Love.  He is an Oprah-type motivational speaker who has really struck a chord with me.  I have really been taking his messages to heart lately.  He recently spoke about enjoying the journey, taking life one day at a time, embracing the small victories and not letting the influence of others crush your dreams.  I try to keep all of these bits of wisdom in my mind when I start comparing myself to others (a very dangerous thing).  When I look at my life in a different light, not at what don't I have, but what DO I have, things are a bit rosier indeed.  At this point in my life, I am literally not tied down by anything.  No job, no house or mortgage, no family, no children.  There is really nothing but myself (another thing Mastin talks about - don't allow yourself to get in the way of your dreams) holding me back from doing whatever I want right now.  And isn't that incredible!  I've been putting a lot of thought into what I want my life to look like - my next 'job', where I want to live - and feeling like I really need a change.  I have a lot of memories in Baltimore, some good, some painful, but I think in order to really start fresh, I am going to need a change in location.  In terms of how I end up making a living, I can't ever see myself diving back into the cubicle farm.  I don't even know how I survived nine years of that!  I am really yearning for a new direction in my life, and I don't want to have finally made it off the hamster wheel just to jump back on again.  I'm hoping my next destination in life is in a warmer climate, and somewhere I've preferably never lived before (West Coast maybe?)  I think if I stay true to the voice inside of me, instead of comparing my life journey to everyone else's, I will find my way.  But that is so much easier said than done...
 
Wow.  That was a lot.  Hope I didn't lose anyone there with that somewhat depressing interlude.  The wedding and the venue this weekend released some repressed emotions and thoughts that I suppose needed to make their way out.
 
So, on a lighter note, for my next adventure I'm thinking of signing up for this.  Spending a month sans clothing in the wild sounds like a good time...
 
 

 
Has anyone else seen this show on Discovery?!?!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend, and that your lives are going in the direction of your dreams...

 


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Frog Fuel Giveaway!

I pretty much love trying out new fitness and running related products so when I was contacted by Mike at PartnersHub and asked if I wanted to sample a new protein supplement called Frog Fuel I jumped at the chance (no pun intended)!  In addition, they have also generously offered to give one lucky reader their own sample pack as well! 


So what exactly IS Frog Fuel?  It's a medical grade protein developed by former Navy Seals.  If that doesn't make you feel hardcore, I don't know what will :)

Here's a little more information about the science behind the product from their website:

1. It's hydrolyzed. Faster absorption means better performance and quicker recovery!
2. It's a Pure Collagen Protein - Improved skin, muscle mass and tone, increased joint flexibility, healthier bones, arteries, hair, nails and eyes.
3. Contains Taurine - Help rebuild muscles faster!
4. Used in the health care industry and qualified as a medical food!
5. You can toss it in your go bag.

There are no banned substances, sugars, fats, carbs, gluten, cholesterol, lactose & excess ingredients.


As I stated in a previous post, I seem to struggle with getting enough protein in my diet, and what I like about Frog Fuel is that it's LACTOSE FREE! Hello! That makes me incredibly happy.

I have tried a few other fueling options on long runs before but don't really have a preference.  Unlike most people, I don't really mind Gu.  I also like Clif Shot Bloks.  And last year I tried Honey Stinger Chews which I thought tasted just like old school fruit snacks!

I'm excited to try Frog Fuel both before and after a workout to see how it performs as both a fuel and a recovery supplement.  Once I do, I will put up a new post with my review.

I am out of town for the holiday so I haven't had a chance to try my sample out yet, but I wanted to get this post up, give you the information about the supplement and kick off the giveaway since it will end next Thursday, July 11th.





To enter to win your own prize pack of 3 protein shots to try:
Leave me a comment telling me what you currently use to fuel your workouts, or what you eat afterward for recovery.

I will use Google's random.org to generate a winner from all commenters and announce the winner on Friday, July 12th!

*Disclosure:  Frog Fuel provided me with samples for this post, but I was not compensated in any way.  Reviews of the product will be entirely my own.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fitness Survey Linkup

Today I'm participating in my first blog linkup! Yippee!  I am linking up with Sara Stone of She Cooks, She Crafts, She Runs, a fellow Sweat Pink Ambassador that I connected with on Facebook for a Fitness Survey.  Enjoy :)




1.  What did you eat for breakfast?
My new favorite cereal from Target with unsweetened vanilla almond milk.  To say I'm obsessed with this stuff is putting it lightly.  I literally grab another box every time I'm in Target.


2.  How much water do you drink a day?
Ugh, definitely not enough.  This is a hard one for me.  I have to consciously remind myself to drink water throughout the day as I know I don't drink enough, especially in the summer heat.

3.  What is your current favorite workout?
The obvious answer here is Running.  That's a given.  But I'm also enjoying these monthly 'challenge' workouts that I'm finding online.  I really liked the Plank a Day challenge I did in June.  I saw incredible improvement from the first, to the last of the month.  I'm starting a Squat challenge for July - link here.

4.  How many calories do you eat a day?
Oh boy I really have no idea here.  I eat 3 meals a day, and I snack in between.  I personally can't go more than a few hours without food or I get cranky and/or get a headache.  If I had to guess I'd say I probably average between 1600-2000 calories a day? 

5.  What are your favorite healthy snacks?
This is a hard question for summer.  I will eat any fresh fruit in sight right now!  One of the many things I adore about this season is the availability and abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables.  I've recently been traveling to different farm stands in the area to try out their fresh produce and have got some amazing food.  The other day I went to a farm stand a picked up a bag of fresh radishes (yes, I like to just bite into them and eat them!) for $1.00!  How can you beat that?  My parents also have a small garden and the sugar snap peas I picked there were to die for.
Instagram @ Jillyruns

 6.  What do you usually eat for lunch?
When I was working, I'd usually bring a sandwich, some fruit or baby carrots, and a granola bar.  I'd also go out to lunch a few times a week as well and either pick up sushi, a salad from Whole Foods, or occasionally get a burger.  Now that I'm home most days, my lunches are all over the place.  They often consist of a mishmash of various foods.  Example:  An entire avocado, a protein shake, and some carrots and hummus.  My lunches now are more snack foods, and I'll eat a bigger meal in the evening.

7.  What is your favorite body part to strength train?
Definitely legs.  My legs are the strongest part of my body so I like training them. And I actually love squats and lunges :)

8.  What is your least favorite body part to strength train?
Arms.  I feel like my arms are akin to that of a T-Rex.  Scrawniest things around! Always have been! However, I do think you can see definition in your arms pretty quickly when you focus on training them with a few key moves like curls, kickbacks, dips, and pushups.

9. What are your “bad” food cravings?
Hmm, even though I can't have dairy, I do indulge in soy or coconut milk ice cream in the evenings from time to time.  These coconut milk bars are my current fave:


10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?
I used to take a bunch of supplements but have scaled back a bit.  I always take a multivitamin.  And I usually also take a Calcium supplement and fish oil.  I will sometimes take Vitamin E.  In the winter, I may add in a chewable Vitamin C supplement.  When I'm running higher mileage I add in Glucosamine Chondroitin because I think it helps my knees.  I used to take Glutamine which is an amino acid that is supposed to decrease muscle soreness after intense workouts.  I can't really say whether it helped but I'll take it from time to time. I also used to take Astaxanthin which is a super antioxidant that acts against free radicals.  It's somewhat pricey but I'll take it from time to time.
Wow, I just realized how long a list that is!

11. How often do you eat out?
I used to eat out more often when I was working downtown because I'd go out for lunch or happy hours with coworkers.  Now I'd say maybe once or twice a week I'll get takeout and maybe once a week I'll go out to eat with a friend.

12. Do you eat fast food?
Can't remember the last time I had real fast food like McDonald's.  The thought of eating there actually makes me kind of sick :(  The only 'fast food' I eat currently is Panera, Chipotle or occasionally Subway.

13. Who is your biggest supporter?
Oh boy this is a tough one.  I am pretty blessed to have an amazing network of family and friends.  My parents, sisters and several best friends are always there for me.  Pretty lucky gal :)

14. Do you have a gym membership?
Yes, I've had a gym membership for as long as I can remember although in the summer I do not go as much.  I prefer to run outside so I skip the gym except to go to classes or lift on my own. 
*Fun fact, I appeared in a TV commercial for my gym last year.  If you're lucky, I'll share the You Tube video in a future post :)

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
I average around 8 or 9 now.  When I was working downtown it was a lot less.  Like 5 or 6 :(

16. Do you have a “cheat” day?
Nah.  I usually just eat whatever I want whenever I want it.  Fortunately, I don't really crave that many unhealthy foods, and being unable to consume dairy just wipes out another food group entirely for me!

17. Do you drink alcohol?
Yes, but not in huge quantities.  I'll go out once or twice a week with friends and have a couple drinks but I don't drink at home.  I guess not having a guy around means no beer in the fridge!

18. Do you have a workout buddy?
Nope.  I ride solo.  Last summer I was running with a few different running groups which was fun but then I got sidelined with a injury and when I got healthy, I just started running on my own again.  Perhaps I'll link up with them again.  But when I'm training, I find it easier to fit in my workouts according to my own schedule. 

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?
Well I've always been pretty healthy, but since I started running more and participating in half marathons, my attitude about my life and myself has definitely improved.  Running brought me out of a dark place I was in a few years ago, and allowed me to see just how strong I am, and to believe in myself again.

20. What was the last healthy thing you did?
Hmm, I just started swimming again.  My goal for this summer is to do more cross training to hopefully avoid injury, so I just rediscovered the joys of lap swimming at my gym.
 

21.  What are your favorite shoes to work out in?
For running I like my Nike Vomeros.  For cross training, I have a pair of Asics and a pair of Saucony - both of which I like for those activities (biking, lifting, classes, walking, CrossFit).
 
22.  Photo of your favorite workout outfit
Ooh, this is a tough one. I don't have too many 'favorite' workout outfits because a lot of my running gear is very mismatched.  It consists of old race shirts or T-shirts from intramural sports and a pair of shorts.  But probably my favorite article of workout clothing is capri tights.  I'll wear them running when its a bit cooler or to do cross training workouts.  Here are a few shots:
Coaches' attire for BWC 5K training
 
Nike Women's Marathon DC outfit
 
Capri tights and Phillies shirt for indoor rock climbing!
 
 
Thanks so much to Sara for organizing this link up - what fun! 
 
 
Now it's your turn!
 
Feel free to answer one, two or a few of the above questions and enter your answers in the comments!