The Power of the Work Out

Sometimes it happens. You just have those amazing workouts where the stars align and you feel freaking phenomenal. That happened to me today, and it hadn’t happened in a while. I was feeling particularly anxious due to a couple of my favorite co-workers/actual real life friends at this point letting me know that they are leaving (*cries internally*) while also having my daily “I should have gotten a full-time job right when I got out of school” freak out. I was going to the gym no matter what, but for whatever reason I decided that today I was gonna take out all of my anxiety there. I ran my lil heart out on the tread for 10 mins as a warm-up, and then did a really great total-body strength circuit. I’ll put the circuit at the end of this post, but it’s basically just a hodge-podge of different workouts I’ve found over the years and put together today.

Anyway, nothing was different about today compared to any other day in recent history. I’ve had decent workouts and I’ve had sucky workouts. Today, it was all mental (plus a little help from Tay Tay’s new song, please tell me you’ve been jamming to Ready for it? as well!). I shifted my mindset from going to the gym “because I have to” to making it something that could help me release my anxiety. And you know what? It did. It truly did. I felt better about the co-worker sitch after. I know they have to move on, and I know that we will still be friends. These girls are awesome humans, I mean, we went to Vegas together and survived. As long as we make the effort, we will remain friends.

I’ve listened to this an embarrassing number of times

In keeping with my goals, I also met up with a friend who I haven’t seen in a while tonight. It was super last minute, and super necessary. I am trying to fill this gap year with activities and people, and today just got the ball rolling in the right direction.

As promised, here is my workout:

  • Warm up-10 mins cardio (I did the tread, you can do whatever suits your fancy)
  • Strength circuit: 10-12 reps per exercise, 3x through, adjust weights for what ya need
    • Lat pull down on machine (60#)
    • Low rows (20# dumbells)
    • Walking lunges w/ weights (20# dumbells)
    • Bicep curls (15# dumbells, though I did one round with 20#-ers but could only get through 8 reps)
    • Tricep extensions (one 25# dumbell)
    • Squat w/ press (15# dumbells)
  • 10 mins of abs at the end, honestly I don’t remember exactly what moves I did, but I have an interval timer app on my phone and set it for 10 sets w/ 50 secs on and 10 secs off and did a different ab move each round

*I’m not a personal trainer, I just feel like I should put that here???

Okay, but really. What got me through this workout with such a positive attitude? Was it a mindset shift? Was it Tay Tay’s crazy music magic?

BYEEEEE

Julie

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Aaaaand, We’re Back

Well, here I am. Don’t call it a comeback.

…but really, we can call it a comeback. My 10-person readership will be extremely happy to have me back (love y’all). Last I posted, it was May of 2016. I was posting about how I was struggling to find the balance and was way too skinny.

Well, I did it guys. I got fat. Kidding, kind of. I got a little to chubby for my liking. I’m going to chalk it up to not working out as intensely as I once was and engaging in some pretty major nighttime, secret binge eating tendencies for the better part of this year. Alas, to err is human, or whatever they say. I’m working on correcting the extra poundage without over-correcting and going back to being a string bean. I did somewhat get into lifting, and your girl’s gotta keep this booty (side note: one of my tables recently wrote on my slip that I have a nice butt, so it’s really a hot commodity).

Anywho, why am I back? Why now? Honestly, its more of a, “what else am I doing?” scenario. This blog somewhat held me accountable for doing fun activities and being healthy in the past, and I am in need of both of those right now. I finished up grad school in May, but I am taking a self-imposed “grad school gap year” to figure my life out a little bit (yes, I have a master’s degree, but I am terrified to use it). I want to travel and I need to figure out a few mental health issues I’ve got swirling around my head (okay, the same mental health issue I’ve always had, good ol’ anxiety!!). I’m 24, so I have a bit of time to be irresponsible before actually starting my career. Or, at least that’s what I’m telling myself to justify this period of nonsense. Just to update y’all, I’m a server, so I make decent enough money to pay the rent and the bills.

With all that being said, the best way to stay accountable (for me personally, at least) is to put my goals out there and have that added social pressure to get stuff done. I’m toying with the idea of putting out weekly or monthly goals and seeing what happens, but for now, here are just some random short and longer-term goals that are worth sharing:

GOALZ AF:

  • Go on AT LEAST one date per month (this was a New Years resolution of mine that I have semi-failed at. I hate dating and it gives me terrible anxiety. So I need to figure this one out stat because the thought of dying alone also gives me terrible anxiety.)
  • Lose 10 pounds. See above.
  • Find a therapist in Boston. I’m sure you saw that one coming.
  • TRAVEL. Such a cliche twenty-something. But whatever, there is a world out there that I’d like to see.
  • Strengthen relationships. I have a lot of friendly acquaintances in my life, and I am bad about reaching out and being like “hey! let’s hang!” I need to try to do more of that.
  • Blog regularly. I have no idea how much. Preferably more than the once every year and a half trajectory I’m currently on.

I probably have a million other goals, but this seems like a good start. If anyone is reading this, thanks for reading. Tell me about your goals. Give me advice on how I could achieve mine. Just say hi! It’s all welcome!

BYEEEEEE

Julie

Hey, What’s Up, HELLO

I’m baaaaaaaaack 

Okay, but really, apologies for the 8ish month absence. Grad school started and this blog stopped. But you know what they say…absence makes the heart grow fonder. So right now I must be pretty darn fond of Julie and the Universe. Anyway, here’s what’s been happening for the past few months…

  • I ran TWO more half marathons!
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Harborside Half, classic post-race-beer-in-hand Julie.

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Double fisting because I PR-ed.

YUP, the first was the Harborside Half in Newburyport in November. I didn’t really train at all for it (though I typically do a 6-10 mile long run once a week anyway) and just wanted to do one more longer race before going into winter-race hibernation mode. I finished in about 2:09. Not my best, especially considering how flat the course was, but such is life. The second was yesterday, the Earth Run Rock Half Marathon in North Andover. Once again, I did not have a full-out training for this halfie (which I have begun affectionately referring to half marathons as), though I did make sure to build up to a final 12-mile training run over the few weeks leading up to it. My unofficial goal was to break two hours, but since I didn’t do much speed training and would have to break my previous halfie PR (2:07) by 8 minutes, I was not super optimistic. However, my pace has definitely gotten faster between last time I posted and now, so I didn’t think it was entirely impossible. In an effort to break 2 hours, I went out too fast and hit the wall hard at mile 10. Miraculously, I finished in 1 HOUR AND 56 MINUTES!!!!! I think I teared up when I saw the clock as I crossed the finish line. Even more impressive, I thought I was going at a snail’s pace by mile 12, and my slowest mile was still 9:15, which is pretty good in my book. This has also prompted me to finally want to invest in a Garmin or some sort of GPS running clock, please let me know of any suggestions.

  • I also ran a couple other races…

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The top picture was after a St. Patrick’s Day-themed 4-miler in March, and the bottom picture was after a 10k in October. My friend Alex never runs and ran that 10k with me (though she does hike a lot). She finished in like 1:05, which I’d say is pretty impressive for someone who doesn’t run. She’s gifted like that.

  • I went to Utah!
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Casual mountain views on the highway.

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Salt Lake: salty and pretty AF.

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Mountain chillin.

The aforementioned Alex worked at a ski resort in Utah over the winter (and is coming home today!!!!) so I visited in January. Basically, Utah was rad. Everyone is so NICE, which was super weird coming from Massachusetts (land of rude people in a hurry). It was absolutely beautiful. Also, I still can’t ski.

  • I cut my hair.
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I called it my “cool mom cut.”

2016: new me, new hair. I cut it on New Year’s Eve. I was bored with long hair. I go through this cycle every 2 years or so (cut hair…grow hair out…get bored…repeat). It was cute. Unsurprisingly, I’m growing it out now.

  • I am almost done my first year of grad school!

Too real.

In summary: first semester I was super anxious and felt like I had no friends and no business being there. Had a couple breakdowns. Slowly made friends, realized everyone felt overwhelmed, got good grades in the end. Second semester: totally slacking but getting it done. Making better connections with friends. Working at a school as a guidance intern once a week, it’s pretty good. Basically, grad school is a crap ton of work, but you’ll get it done. My final paper of the semester is due on May 13 and I cannot wait to submit it. Let me know if you’d be interested in a more extended grad school post!

  • And finally….I SIGNED UP TO RUN A MARATHON.

Yup, it’s happening.

The reason I really wanted to come back to blogging is to have an outlet to discuss marathon training. You all have super great running advice, and I want to hear it all! My 2015 goal was to run a halfie, which I did (twice…but who’s counting?), and my 2016 goal is to run a…fullie? Okay, we’re gonna scrap that nickname and call it a marathon for now. I am running the Baystate Marathon in October in good ol’ Lowell (where I went to college, Rock the Hawk yo). I don’t start training until June, and I am thinking of following Hal Hingdon’s Novice 2 plan. I’m not entirely sure yet. I want a plan that has no more than 4 days of running because I would like to continue keeping up strength training and yoga, and anything more than 4 days of running just isn’t great for me. I am nervous and excited and unsure of exactly how I’m going to fit in training with grad school, work, and my 3-day-a-week internship. But I’ve always been an act-now-plan-later type of gal, so we shall see what happens!

Anyway, that was a rambly, 8-month catch up post, but that’s where my life is at right now! What’s up with y’all?!

Questions for you lovely humans:

1. Any Garmin/GPS watch recommendations? I love Run Keeper, but I think I am ready for something a little more advanced. I don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, but I am willing to invest a bit.

2. Have you gone on any exciting trips recently? If you’re thinking of planning something, might I suggest Utah?

3. Have you run a marathon before? Are you going to run a marathon this year? Any advice?

BYEEEEEEE

Julie

Re-Sick: The Sick Daze Saga Continues

Okay, so, I’ve been a little MIA. I could totes blame work/school/homework, but instead I am going to blame my immune system. In my last post, I complained about being sick, and, well, I’m still sick 😭.

Honestly, I thought it was only a short little end-of-summer-beginning-of-fall cold. I had a sore throat and some sinus pressure for a couple days, and then it all kind of dissipated into a mild cough. By Monday, I was on the upswing and feeling way better. Enter: Tuesday. My cough got worse. I went for a run that I probably shouldn’t have. During my past week of sick, I continued working out, I went for 2 short (less than 4 miles) runs, but mostly stuck to strength-focused with little cardio Nike Training Club workouts. I always felt better after working out, but maybe it would have been better to just…not workout. At least for a couple days. Or just do yoga or something less strenuous than strength training. Ah, well, live and learn, right?

Since I am “re-sick” I finally took my ass to the doctor. He prescribed me an antibiotic and told me to get some nasal spray and Robutussin for my symptoms. Please work modern medicine, please.

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Rite Aid haul!!!!!!

The biggest issue with being sick is that it makes me want to do nothing. I don’t mean in the physical sense, obviously I was able to exercise, but in the mental sense. Working out requires very little thought, but homework requires a lot. Sinus pressure + piles of reading is not a good combination. Now that the sinus pressure is back, textbook reading once again feels like even more of a chore than normal.

I’ve also been making some food choices based on being sick. Obviously, Vitamin C is at the top of my list (even though the jury’s out on whether or not that’s helpful). So I’ve been munchin’ on some oranges. Honestly, fruit in general have been a go-to since it’s east to pack for snacks at school.

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I’ve also found myself eating more oatmeal in the past week. It’s filling, delicious, and doesn’t bother my throat (especially when it’s warm).

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Looks like death (kind of like how I feel), but it’s Chocolate PB overnight oats, so it tastes a lot better than death.

Smoothie bowls have also been consumed. Fruit nutrient power + smooth consistency + being relatively cold has been good on my throat as well.

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PB & J Smoothie bowl: 1/2 a frozen banana + 3/4 cup(ish) frozen mixed berries + 2 tbsp PB2 + 1/2 cup(ish) unsweetened vanilla almond milk + handful of baby spinach + 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Of course, I can’t live without salad, so those have been a staple as well. Plus, I’m telling myself all the nutrients in the vegetables have healing power. Not sure how accurate that is considering now I’m on antibiotics, but nothing comes between me and my salads.

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Salad power, heal me!!!!!

So hopefully with the addition of antibiotics I’ll be on the upswing. Definitely not going to exercise today, and I doubt I will tomorrow. Hopefully by Saturday I can ease back into it with yoga. My focus is on NOT BEING SICK anymore. Secondary focus: posting more often. Getting sick totally threw me out of my school/work routine that I really hadn’t even gotten into yet. Sigh. I love a routine so that really sucks.

Okay, I’ve complained enough. What’s up with you guys?

P.S. I’m linking up today’s post with Amanda from Running With Spoons. Thanks for hosting Thinking Out Loud Thursday!

Questions for you lovely humans:

1. Have you ever been “re-sick?”

2. What are your go-to sick foods?

3. How much time off from working out do you usually take when you’re sick?

BYEEEEE

Julie

Sick Dazeeee

*Cough* I’m sick.

Me RN, only for real (source)

I went to bed Tuesday night with a mildly sore throat, and by Wednesday the sick had hit. I was working a double and just felt worse and worse as the day wore on. I came home at 5:30, slept until 7:30, ate, and was back in bed (with NyQull) by 10:30.

Thursday was my day off and I was going to get SO MUCH DONE. A long run, fix my headlight (which has been out for longer that I’m willing to admit), and go to campus to get my student ID, pass in some health forms, and explore a little. Sigh, even the best layed plans…

Instead, Thursday was basically just napping interspersed with eating.

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S/O to oatmeal, egg scrambles, and smoothie bowls for not hurting my throat and apparently being “foods that are good to eat when you have a cold” according to Google.

I have been able to workout a bit, as post-workout is usually when I feel my best when I’m sick. Both yesterday and today I fit in some not super intense Nike Training Club workouts. Sadly, running/prolonged cardio was not happening.

Today, I was a double at work once again. After 7 hours, I hit the wall (and the DayQull had worn off, also I’ve never taken DayQull before and it’s pretty awesome while it lasts). I felt so bad asking to leave early once again, but there were more than enough people on takeout, so my boss was fine with me leaving. I’ve never actually called out sick before, but I still feel bad even for leaving a little early because I’m not feeling well. Meh.

So, basically, woe is me. I’m sick and I don’t like it. I have so many things to do, but being sick just makes me want to do absolutely none of it. Fingers crossed that a low-key night and lots of sleep for the next couple days will do the trick. Sadly, I’ll have to wake up for work, but I have to be ready for my first full week of balancing classes/work/homework/life next week.

Oh, and speaking of homework….I should probably get started on what I have right now…but my sick brain is telling me Netflix is more important. OY VEY.

Really, I just have a cold and I’m being a baby about it.

Have a great weekend everyone, don’t get sick!

Questions for you lovely readers:

1. Do you workout when you’re sick? I try to because it usually makes me feel better, but I always keep it pretty light, some easy strength work, yoga, or a nice walk is what I’m into.

2. How do you handle being sick? Are you a “grin and bear it, it’s not that bad” person (I envy your strength), or a bit more, um, sensitive, like me?

3. What is one fun thing you have planned for the weekend? Let me live vicariously through you!

BYEEEEE

Julie

First Day of Classes Jitters + Weekly Workouts

Greetings! Hope everyone had a FAB long weekend. While I spent most of my time working, I did go out in Boston for my friend Steph’s 22nd birthday on Saturday. They played 22 by Tay Tay at the bar for her, and obvi we were in all our glory dancing to her.

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Also, when I got home from Boston I was drunk-craving something salty (don’t worry, we had a DD, not trying to drink and drive). Sadly, there was no pizza in the fridge (probably for the best, TBH). So….I made a ham sandwich wrap? And then took a picture for this blog? I don’t know why but I just think it’s funny.

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For drunk me, making a ham sandwich is akin to making a gourmet holiday feast.

ANYWAY, today was my first day of actual, in-class grad school (cue Finding Nemo “first day of school! first day of school!”). I don’t think I’ve ever been so anxious for a first day of classes in my life. It was totally a combo of the annoying commute (I parked at a T station outside of Boston and took the T in, but I’m thinking I may just drive there from now on, we’ll see), being unfamiliar with the campus (I had only ever been there once before), and not knowing anyone who went there. Even on my first day of undergrad classes, I was already familiar with campus from living there for a few days, and I had friends I had made at school as well as familiar faces from high school.

Felt a bit like Cady Heron pre-plastics today (gif source).

Honestly, I can’t say it was the best first day. I was a little fried and felt gross because it was suuuuper hot out, and I was intimidated to really talk to anyone. My first class is a large Research Methods class that has a bunch of different counseling grad students in it. Luckily, my second class was a lot smaller and only had school counseling students in it. We did an icebreaker I didn’t actually hate (rare for those damn first day icebreaker games), and chatted with one of my classmates on part of my commute home on the T. The commute and being on campus just makes me want to move to Boston even more. Oy vey.

Also, I totes meant to take a picture of my first day OOTD (not that it was anything special/super trendy), but in all of my anxiety I completely forgot. I’m sure more school day OOTDs will be coming, especially as fall starts (which is by far the best season fashion-wise, IMO).

So to add to this hodge-podge post, I figure I’ll throw my weekly workouts in here as well!

WEEKLY WORKOUTS:

MONDAY: humid 3.8 mile run (9:31 pace) + Blogilates Natural Butt Lift and 10 Minute Abs videos

TUESDAY: Hot yoga

WEDNESDAY: Rest

THURSDAY: First post-half marathon long run! 7.8 miles (9:46 pace)

FRIDAY: Nike Training Club True Condition W/O + Blogilates 8 min Abs and Obliques video

SATURDAY: 3.8 mile run (9:26 pace) + Tone It Up Lift and Tone Booty Routine video + Blogilates Muffintop Massacre and Victoria’s Secret Model Ab W/O videos

SUNDAY: Total body strength at the gym

MONDAY: Random Blogilates abs and obliques day from the August calendar (side note: still haven’t received my September calendar password…I don’t really follow the calendar but I like having it for inspiration) + Yoga for Runners 30 minute routine on the Yoga Studio app

I’ve been liking my workout routine lately. I know Wednesday is going to be my rest day and Thursday is going to be my long run day. I also know that I want to fill the other days up with two shorter runs + a little bit of toning work after, two days of strength (at the gym or at home on the NTC app or something), and one day of yoga (preferably hot yoga). I kind of base this part around my schedule and how I am feeling each day. It’s the perfect amount of structure and freedom.

QUESTIONS FOR Y’ALL:

1. When was your most nerve racking/anxiety-ridden first day of school?

2. Do you schedule out all of your workouts for the week in advance, or do it a little more loosey-goosey? I suppose I fall somewhere in the middle.

3. What is the weirdest drunk-food (or drunchie) you’ve eaten? Considering my go-to drunchie is leftover pizza or, like, something super easy like cereal, the fact that I made a ham wrap is pretty impressive.

BYEEEEE

Julie

Last Weekend of August + Weekly Workouts

Monday, Monday, Monday. Oy vey. Did you at least have a good weekend? I did! Hopefully the goodness from the weekend can spill over into this week, as I start to gear up for school (mixed feelings about that), fall, and getting into a normal routine once again (I am pretty excited about that, I’m a sucker for a routine, and that may be the most lame thing I’ve ever said). Here’s a look into my weekend!

On Friday, I grocery shopped and made a freaking bomb salad. We had a little leftover grilled chicken and deli turkey, so I sliced both of those up and threw them on top of spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and mushrooms. I topped it off with some balsamic vinaigrette and enjoyed it on the porch.

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I worked Friday night, and then went out for a co-worker’s 21st birthday. She had a grand ol’ time, and it was fun to go out with work friends. It’s nice to see everyone outside of the work setting (and not wearing all black).

Saturday-day was pretty low-key. I woke up at 9:40 and had this urge to go to yoga. Of course, the class started at 10 and the studio is 15-20ish minutes away from my house. By some miracle, I got my butt into a “comfortable seated position” on my mat just a few minutes later than class started. Double miracle, the class wasn’t crowded at all, so I could just saunter over to the first empty area I found and not make anyone move around for my rude, late self. Triple miracle, this was one of the best yoga classes I’ve been to in a while. A lot of it definitely had to do with my mood, I was just so down to downward dog that morning. I also was able to get into bird of paradise for the first time! I realize this is probably a pretty easy, basic pose for most people, but I am literally the least flexible person ever so it was kind of a big deal for me.

Apparently, this weekend was the weekend of salads. I was going up to my friend’s beach house in York, ME for an “end of summer” party that night, and made a quick salad for dinner before I left.

Runny yolks + salad dressing = deliciousness

I also grabbed a random sweet potato when I went grocery shopping, and had that on the side. I made it in the microwave because I’m lazy, but I definitely want to get experimental with sweet potatoes as fall hits and sweet potatoes are everywhere I plan on cooking with them more.

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Sweet potato + pepper + smoked paprika + adobo = more deliciousness

I had a GR8 time at the party. So great that I didn’t actually remember to take any pictures, whoops. Let’s just say I drank some vodka sodas, hung out with friends, danced my butt off (Tay Tay and Nicki were on the playlist, couldn’t resist), and ate “slutty” brownies (brownies with OREOS inside, holy crap) and homemade pizza.

Sunday morning, I headed home and napped a bit (I wasn’t hungover, just tired), and then went to Assembly Row in Sommerville (a city right outside of Boston for those of you not really in the Boston area) with Maddie. Assembly Row is a new, super nice shopping area. While I wasn’t into a lot of the stores there (most of them were pretty expensive/for an older, more professional crowd than Maddie and I), it was fun to walk around on such a nice day.

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Not gonna lie, asking random people to take pictures of you is never not awk.

After we finished (mostly window) shopping, we grabbed dinner at a restaurant in Assembly Row, Earl’s Kitchen and Bar. Continuing my salad streak, I ordered the Santa Fe Chicken salad, which had grilled chicken, feta, avocado, black beans, corn, and greens with peanut vinaigrette dressing. OMG it was so good. As a salad connoisseur, I can definitely say it was one of the best salads I’ve had in quite some time.

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Mountain of great-salad-ness.

Of course, Maddie and I couldn’t not stop at JP Licks when there was one right in Assembly Row. I got a cup of PB Chip fro-yo (trying to be a bit more healthy since going completely crazy during my half marathon week). It was bomb, obvi.

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After getting home, I ended the night with a solid strength-training session at the gym. I felt like I could conquer the world as I was on my way home. I don’t always feel that way after working out, but it is such a great feeling when I do!

Speaking of working out, here’s my week of workouts. I didn’t really have a plan going into the week, I just kind of did what I felt like doing. While that was good for the post-half marathon week, I think I need to get back into having a weekly plan now that my life is going to get a bit more hectic.

MONDAY: Rest

TUESDAY: Hot yoga

WEDNESDAY: Total body strength at the gym

THURSDAY: First post-half marathon run! 3.4 miles (8:47 pace) + PopSugar butt workout (that wasn’t very challenging, probably won’t do it again) + Caroline Jordan ab workout (that was very challenging, probably will do again)

FRIDAY: 3.8 mile run (9:04 pace) + Blogilates “Booty Booty Booty” workout (one of my faaaaaves) + Blogilates 5 minute ab workout

SATURDAY: Hot yoga

SUNDAY: Total body strength at the gym

PS: I’m linking up my weekend recap with Erin from Her Heartland Soul. Thanks for hosting!

Questions for you lovely humans:

1. If you could put together your dream salad, what would be in it? Honestly, I may just be on the post-Santa Fe Chicken Salad high, but I think that would be it. Maybe I’d throw in some tomatoes and red onion as well, but that was darn near perfect.

2. What are some sweet potato recipes you’re into? I like easy 🙂

3. Did you watch the VMAs/should I watch them? I missed them last night. I love my girl Milerz, but are they actually worth watching? Should I just check out the highlights?

BYEEEEE

Julie