Apple Watch & Nike+

bpwatchFor those of you who have spoken to me recently, you probably know that I have been exercising an incredible amount of control on NOT buying an Apple Watch. I’ve mostly been holding off because I have no REAL need for a $300 tether to my iPhone. But…I caved.

The fitness-focused aspects of the Apple Watch coupled with a seamless connection to my iPhone were enough to sway me. I’ll admit, however, that running with the Apple Watch and my preferred app (Nike+ Running) was not as perfect as I had hoped. But I’ll share the good, the bad and the settings for success that I found while using Nike+ with the Apple Watch.

bpwatch2.JPGThe Bad
You still need to take your iPhone with you. Wearing the watch does not free you from the phone because it is not a GPS device and it relies entirely on the iPhone for pace, distance and route.

The Good
It did allow me to put the phone in my FlipBelt for the duration of my run while giving me a quicker way to glance at my stats. The app interface on the watch allows you to see your distance, pace, route and music.

Settings for Success

  • On the Phone – Make sure you’ve enabled Nike+ to be visible on the watch
  • On the Phone – Set the watch’s Wake Screen as “resume last activity.” This will ensure you do not have to push any buttons on the watch, while running, to check the stats
  • On the Phone – Set your preferred Nike+ settings through the app on your phone, not on the watch
  • On the Phone – Set the Nike+ app to start and stop runs automatically so that you do not need to push buttons on either the watch or phone during your runs
  • On the Watch – Pair bluetooth headphones with your watch in order to listen to music on your runs

While it is not perfect, I am very happy with my watch thus far, and look forward to having two free hands on all of my runs from now on.

Happy training, beautiful people.

loveB

Advertisements

Strong Isn’t Always Brave and Little Isn’t Always Small

Hey friends. I typically try to keep my posts informative and playful. This is a fitness blog, so many posts focus on getting stronger in the gym or on the track. But recently I had the rug pulled out from under me, and my personal life is in a tailspin. The intimate details of what I am going through are not important. At times like these, what’s important is to remember that strength doesn’t equal bravery and little doesn’t equal small.

Strength vs. Bravery:

IMG_9336I was lucky enough to be taught, from a young age, that little girls can be strong and fearless. In my house, both my sister and I were forces to be reckoned with. But in all of the lessons that I’ve learned and all of the teachings about pushing for what you want, somehow I began to mistake strength with stubbornness instead of bravery. I thought that being strong meant absorbing everything that was thrown at me and carrying on despite it all. I missed the part about how walking away can be incredibly brave.

I hope that all of you reading this can recognize that, in life, bravery is doing what’s right, even if you think you can muscle through the pain just a little longer.

Little vs. Small:

IMG_8979In the situation that I’m currently in, I am constantly reminding myself that I am not insignificant. I am worthy of all I desire and no small mind should crush my huge dreams. I have to keep telling myself, despite what others may say, I am not a small girl waiting for a fairy tale ending. I am a petite warrior battling for what I believe in.

If anybody or anything has ever made your life or your dreams feel silly or wrong, I hope this helps you to remember that you, like me, are capable, brave and significant.

Fight on, warriors.
loveB

Gear Review: Nike Epic Lux Tights

ryan-goslingYou’ve all heard the jokes about women and their “yoga pants as real pants.” Well, I am a culprit of wearing my running tights even when I am not running. Currently, I am sitting in the middle seat of a four-hour flight, and the one thing that isn’t driving me completely insane…my running tights.

So I figured this was a good time to write a quick review about a new line of Nike tights that I found in the past year. The Nike Epic Lux are miracle pants in more ways than one:

  • Muffin top, be gone! – Because of the thick waistband, these pants never cause any muffin top.
  • Nobody needs to see your ASSets! – The thick and quality material means that these pants are never see-through.
  • So many options! – The pants come in tights, crops and capris. In addition to three lengths, they also come out with TONS of awesome designs and colors (see pic below) to spruce up your workout wardrobe.
  • One size always fits! – One of my biggest pet peeves is when you buy multiple colors of the same article of clothing and each fits different. I’ve got 2 capris, 1 crop and 2 full-length tights in the Epic Lux and each fits PERFECTLY.
  • You move, they don’t! – No matter what activity I am doing, running, lunges, planks, dead lifts. These tights stay in place. They don’t twist, or droop down. I’m never at risk for plumber crack or even worse, the ol’ camel toe.

EpicLuxLeapAs with all Nike products, the Epic Lux can be a bit pricey. They range from $95 to $110. Nike’s running tight range is $50 to $150. Although, if you’re a savvy bargain shopper, they’re occasionally on sale at places like Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx and even right on nike.com. But let’s compare them to a few other pricey alternatives:

  • Lululemon Running Tights – $98 to $298. $298?!?! You kidding me??
  • Under Armour Running Tights – $45 to $180.
  • Brooks Running Tights – $85 and $165
  • Pearl Izumi Running Tights – $65 and $145.
  • CW-X Running Tights – $65 to $200.

What it comes down to is loving what you’re wearing. The comfort, the performance and of course, the way it hugs your curves. Happy shopping, y’all!

loveB

Training for Race Season

Oh hey! It’s been a while. It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve been busy, and the long winter has me feeling unmotivated. I’m tired. Good thing I make more excuses about blogging than I do about working out!

1010706_10202108464698487_568135008458836320_nThis time of year, it seems everybody has a race of some sort that they’re training for. Like the 5k to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer, which my entire family races in each spring, or the GW Parkway Classic that I am running in this month.

So, I wanted to share the training regimen that I have put in place to get myself into the best shape possible for my race on April 24. Let me preface this by saying that I am not a trained fitness coach, and if you follow my below plan, please please please always listen to your body, trainers and/or doctors for expert advice.

Running vs. Lifting + Stretching:

During the five or so weeks leading up to a 10 mile race, I will cut my lifting down significantly, and increase my mileage each week. Also, it can’t be said enough, but stretching can mean a world of difference. I try to use a foam roller to massage my IT bands every single day.

Lifting:

During the weeks that I am training for a race, I will reserve two days a week for lifting. 1 day for legs (never maxing out) and 1 day for arms/chest/back. Both days, and some of my non-lifting days, will include 5-15 minutes of core.

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 8.31.53 PMRunning:

The hard part for me is pacing. I am not a distance runner by nature. My body wants to run fast, but then I can’t maintain the speed while increasing my miles.

With that in mind, I have three little tricks that I employ to help me combat this common hurdle:

  • Mileage: I do 3 runs during the week that are between 3-5 miles, depending on where I am at in my training. Then I do one 5-8 mile run on the weekends. I do not pay too much attention to my pace, but I try to stay within a :30 margin. By race day, I am comfortably running more miles and a much quicker pace and it wasn’t even that painful to get there.
  • Track Workouts: I have recently gotten into track workouts, which are full of benefits. They open your stride, boost your endurance, change up your routine and drum roll….. they help increase your speed! I jog to the track, stretch and then do one of the following: Sprint 1 lap, jog 1 lap. Repeat 4-8 times. Or, run 80% pace for 2 laps, jog for 1 lap. Repeat 4-8 times. I also sometimes do pacers down the long side of the track. Start at 50% pace, increase to 75% pace, increase to full sprint. Do a few of those. They feel AMAZING.
  • Hills: They’re the devil. But the best advice I ever received was from Mr. Mahoney, my high school cross country coach. He told us that we should always work to pass people on the uphill. If you train for hills, there will be no issues come race day. You’ll be cruising on up as other runners are struggling and wondering if you’ve got secret jets hidden in your shoes! My standard hill workout: Jog to the hill, stretch. Then I do pacers up the hill, starting off with a slow and open stride leading up to the base of the hill and then try to run about 75% pace to the top.  I jog halfway down, and walk the other half. Once at the bottom,  jump right back into the next one. Depending on the hill grade and length, I will do 5-10 of these before jogging home.

If you’ve got a race coming up, I hope you find my training tips beneficial. Always feel free to reach out to me in the comments below if you’ve got any questions! Also, follow me on IG for training tips, fun pics and weird outfits. 🙂
loveB

Getting Over the Fear of Failure

Three months ago, I cut pictures and words out of magazines ready to build my vision board. I was pumped and carefully scanning each page for inspiration, motivation and all the good feels.

The images sat on my desk in a jumbled pile, emblematic of my brain, vision, direction and thoughts. The board stared back at me, blank, vacant and overwhelmingly silent.

I couldn’t do it.

Three months ago, I decided I was moving. I didn’t know where yet, I just knew it was time. I knew I wanted a career shift and change of scenery. I’ve been here since 2009, and when people ask why I didn’t go back to New York after college, my response was always, “I got a job and just never left.” Not exactly a strong reason to set up your life somewhere.

Fast forward to right now, as I write this blog post. My vision board is complete, I’m moving back to New York this weekend and am working on a website for my own Health Coaching business.

IMG_3101

So, why now? What took me so long? Why didn’t I just glue the pieces of paper to the board two months ago? Why didn’t I just put in my notice and move away? Why didn’t I just sit my ass down and build the website for the career I am passionate about?

Fear.

Fear is an interesting emotion. It’s motivating as hell. Most of us, thankfully, haven’t faced a life-threatening situation, but think of the last time you were nervous or scared about something small. Maybe it was the first day of a new job or school. Maybe you were going on a first date or meeting your significant other’s family. Think of the weird things you do in those situations.

I couldn’t pinpoint what was stopping me. I thought it was fear of taking a step in the wrong direction and sending my life off course, but that wasn’t it. I’m a firm believer that you can always live the life you desire, no matter where you are right now. I just had to remind myself of that.

So, what was stopping me?

I thought it was my fear of putting myself out there, being vulnerable, making a bold decision to go after what I want. But, the more I thought that way, two things started to happen. First, it increasingly became a self-fulfilling prophecy. You really do start to believe the shit you tell yourself. I planted that seed pretty deep, and I began shying away from opportunity, settling in and just watching life.

The second thing was the more I said this and acted this way, the more separated from myself I felt. But something pretty magical came from this. I found my authentic self, because I could see it from afar. I could see who I truly was at that moment. It didn’t match up.

Enter trust and intuition. I was beginning to understand my own intuition, my gut, my heart. Maybe, I feared it was steering me wrong?

I fully believe in the power of intuition. There is scientific proof that it exists. It lives in the part of our brain that is connected to our gut—hence gut feelings. This part of our brain is primitive, so it isn’t capable of language—hence phrases like, “I don’t know why, I just felt like I had to do it,” or “I can’t explain it, it just feels right.” You legitimately cannot explain it because there’s no link between this gut feeling and the part of your brain capable and responsible for language. It’s your intuition, and you should trust it.

Okay, so clearly I trust my intuition. Are you getting annoyed with me yet? I’ll tell you what it was.

Fear of failure.

My own self-doubt and fear of failure was sabotaging my drive, intuition, passion and confidence. That’s how powerful negative thoughts can be. That’s how powerful fear can be.

I felt stuck. I felt it in every aspect of my life. Menial tasks became an uphill battle. Exhaustion set back in. I was exercising and eating from a place of fear, I was socializing from a place of fear, I was living from a place of fear.

My inner critic was telling me things like, “Who do you think you are?”, “You can’t just pick up and leave without a clear plan”, “You can’t start a business”, “You can’t make it in New York”, “You’ll never succeed”, “You’re not smart enough”.

My inner critic is a big, big bitch.

With the help of some audiobooks, good old-fashioned page-turning books, affirmations and videos, I’m healed! Just kidding. That voice in my head isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but I have completely changed how I listen and respond to it. I stopped agreeing with the bitchy friend in my head and started believing in myself.

So, what’s next for me?

IMG_3258-2

I am moving back to New York City on Saturday, transitioning out of the digital world of marketing and into Health and Wellness, full-time.

Some decisions were made out of an “act now, think later” mindset. Some were highly analytical. Some were made out of complete trust and confidence in myself.

Of course, I had amazing, supportive people helping me make this decision, but since it was made, one person’s reaction made me feel at ease. A friend told me he heard I was moving back and, like everyone else, asked, “So, what’s the plan?” I laughed, threw up my hands and said, I’m not 100% sure yet, I just know what I want and I know I want to be in New York. His response, “Just going? I love it.”

The fact that I can recall this one reaction reminds me how much work I still have to do on myself. It shouldn’t matter. I know that people react out of their own fear. That moving with no clear path or plan seems crazy scary to them, so they disapprove, question or sabotage out of love, out of a want to keep me “safe”. But, the love for myself and my happiness is what is driving me to go after my dreams.

I might still fail. I think about it all the time. I might move back to New York, struggle to find a job, never find a single coaching client and have to start from scratch. But then again, I might become more successful, happier and healthier than I have ever been. It’s not a matter of luck or circumstance. It’s faith in myself and in life. It’s trust in my brain, body, spirit and intuition. It’s confidence and composure.

It’s up to me.

Review: Nike Women’s 21 Days of Better For It

Hi friends (and total strangers)! About 21 days ago, I told you that I was going to take on Nike Women’s 21 Days of #BetterForIt. Now, I’ve gotta be honest here, I did most of the workouts but during that 21 day period I went on a five day vacation and we had a three-foot blizzard that isolated me in my home for four days. Needless to say, there were some interruptions, but I am here to report back to you all now that I’m finished!

BIG PICTURE:

Each morning, I awoke to reminder message in my iPhone. The reminder took me directly to that day’s workout plan. So seamless! The program gave me a balanced workout that was thoughtfully prepared and included stretching and rest days. Those Nike folks must know a thing or two about fitness.

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS:

200m sprints: It’s been years since I had a proper track workout and it felt amazing to stretch out my legs with these 200 meter sprints.

IMG_0625
Stretching before sprinting = smart.

Drop Squats: Start in the standing position, drop down to a squat touching one hand to the floor while the other stretches out behind you. Jump back up. I love squats, nuff said.

Lateral bear crawls: This exercise isn’t as difficult, coordination-wise, as it sounds. But it kicks your butt (and back, and core, and hips)!

FullBearCrawls
Bear crawls are the bees’ knees. Or something like that.

Chest press with dead bug: The dead bug may make you look silly in the gym. But combine it with a couple dumbbells and you’ve got yourself a hard-working move.chestpressdeadbug.png

Rear foot elevated single leg squat: Put your back leg up on a box or curb, it doesn’t need to be high. Squat down, similar to a lunge and feel the burrnnnnn!

Diagonal bounds: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. These little jumps (or slides, if you have the proper equipment) are a daily must.

diagonalbounds
Leaps and bounds!

AND YET:

As with any workout, there were a few things I avoided. Burpees, for instance. I fail to see the true benefit of burpees. Without perfect form, you’re much more likely to hurt yourself than do any real good. Burpees = the plague. Keep back! Another activity that I was cautious with was sprinting at the track (surprisingly, this was also my favorite activity). But I am 31, and about 12 years past my last track workout, so in the early morning cold temps, I was pretty nervous about pulling something while trying to prove that I was once a good sprinter.

All in all, I’d say that Nike’s 21 Days of #BetterForIt was a success. I learned a ton of new activities to add to my workout regime, and there was something motivating and exciting about having a little personal trainer in your phone that wakes you up with new workouts each day.

If anybody is interested in doing the 21 day routine, I’ve got all of the workouts saved and would more than happy to send you the details. Comment below if you would like me to share them!

LOVE YOU ALL!
loveB

 

 

Follow me on IG for workout tips, pics, vids and more!

Start 2016 With More Than A Resolution

This time of year always makes me cringe a little bit, especially when marketers try to capitalize on our insecurities by pushing “fitness resolutions.” Don’t get me wrong, getting healthy should most definitely be a top priority, but not because 2016 is upon us. It should be a priority because you only have one body and you need to treat it right. All year, every year.new-years-resolutions-seinfeld

My “resolution” this year is to recognize that my health, my mind and my body are a constant work in progress and I cannot accomplish everything at once. Just as I did in 2015, I will work on each of them but will not expect any certain results.

My Health: Anybody who knows me knows that I am a pretty unhealthy eater. This is an area where I have a TON of room for improvement. I cannot resolve to give up sugar, because I will fail. But I will consciously work to make more home-cooked dinners with more vegetables. The goal is simply to feed my body more of the nutrients that it needs to meet the demands I put on it.
ThoughSheBeSmall
My Mind: This past March, I made the decision to leave a very toxic work environment. The decision, which was not a New Years resolution, was one of the most important choices I have ever made and has proved to be a very big step in improving my mental health. This year, I will continue to find ways to let go of unnecessary stressors, which will not only impact my mind, but my heart as well. Here are some tips on ways to improve mental health every day.

My Body: The biggest thing I noticed as my twenties passed me by was that my body is different day-by-day. The body I had when I was 21 is very different than the body I have now at 31. I can’t expect the same results, and I cannot make goals for my 31-year-old body that are based on 21-year-old me. These days, I am working on being more aware of how I feel. I am trying to see how my diet and stress may impact my physical output. I am always working on tightening and toning, but I am also thinking about recovery and proper care for my muscles. My roller is one of my best friends these days. RELATED: Have a Body-Positive New YearIMG_9382

Those are my “resolutions.” They’re not really measurable, and they do not have an expiration date. They’re fluid and always changing as I learn more about myself. So instead of a New Years resolution in 2016, I challenge you to take a holistic view of your health, your mind and your body. Self-improvement doesn’t ever end, and it is defined differently by everybody. #YouDoYou.23d45062-b649-4be8-b2d0-348c78b9be46

Happy New Years, see you in 2016!
loveB

 

 

Follow me on IG for workout tips, pics, vids and more!