Last Week’s Workouts: 6/22-6/28

I’m following a non-training plan to keep myself moving when I’m not training for a race. Here’s what I did last week:

50 minutes of yoga — this Tara Stiles video. Again, this was so calming for the beginning of the week. Yoga (in addition to The Bachelorette) has me actually looking forward to Mondays!

30 minutes of weights — this routine at the gym.

5.25-mile road run in 46:55 — 8:56 average pace. The weather was perfect this morning. We’re having a heatwave in Seattle (80s and 90s every day), but this run was so pleasant and cool. It totally made the 5:00 wakeup worth it!

30 minutes of weights and half of The Dozen.

Rest, unless you count jumping up and down with joy about the Supreme Court ruling as exercise!

My granddad passed away in September 2011 at the age of 92, but I wish he had lived to see this day. He told me in one of our last conversations that he was so hopeful about the future of gay rights in this country. I’m not sure I ever mentioned it here, but my granddad was with his partner Michael for more than 40 years. It was something of a family secret that became clear to me as I got older and realized that Michael was more than a “roommate.” 

I made sure to let my granddad know before he died that learning he was gay never changed the way I felt about him; if anything, it just made me hurt for him, knowing all the hardship he dealt with in his life, struggling to live as the person he truly was rather than the person the world wanted him to be.

I’m so happy that, with this ruling, gay men and women are more free to publicly love who they love, with validation from the highest court that their love is just as recognized and protected as anyone else’s. #LoveWins

Whew. End emotional interlude.

5-mile trail run in 1:00:50 — 12:10 average pace. My trail pace is much slower than my road pace, so I don’t bother looking at my watch while running. I’m just out there for the fun of it and to increase my endurance anyway!

Aaron left on Saturday for an epic two-week mountain biking trip through Iceland, Switzerland, and France. In the summer of 2012, he had to cancel a mountain biking trip to Iceland because he tore every ligament in his shoulder in — what else? — a bike accident, so this is his redemption trip! But rather than spending the entire time in Iceland, he’s only there for a few days as a stopover on his way to Switzerland, where he’ll be part of an organized mountain biking tour. He’ll be riding in the Alps, so follow him on Instagram for some incredible photos! He’s already posted a few from Iceland. And I already miss him. 😦

7.2-mile hike (roundtrip) to Poo Poo Point. This is by far the most popular hike in my town, and now I’ve finally done it!

The reward at the summit is this spectacular view of Issaquah, Lake Sammamish, and Bellevue. Also, it’s a popular launching point for paragliders. I always see them circling up there from down below, but unfortunately there were no paragliders this morning. Maybe next time!

As beautiful as the summit view is, I enjoyed the forest views along the way just as much. I started hiking at 7:30 a.m., so the trail was super quiet and peaceful.

This hike is rated moderately difficult, and I definitely found it to be so. There were stretches of steep inclines that had me breathing hard and going, “Really?!?” as I climbed them. I guess I thought the hike would be easier based on how popular it is, but I underestimated it. But I felt like I got a great workout! The whole thing took me three hours, including 30 minutes of relaxing and snacking (and Instagramming) at the top.

That’s a wrap for this past week. I did a much better job going to bed earlier (like 9:15) so I felt energized when I woke up. Here’s to continuing that this week!

Abs Require Work Apparently

I stayed on track with all of my workouts this week and am now looking forward to a rest day tomorrow! I’m so ready to sleep in; it was really tough to get up this morning.

Once I dragged myself out of bed and went to the gym, I did a mix of my usual free-weight exercises and half of The Dozen core routine.

I either don’t understand how to do reps of a push-up side plank or am just not strong enough. Am I supposed to be doing one-armed push-ups while holding a side plank?? Or maybe I’m supposed to be going from a regular plank to a side plank. That’s probably it. (I wish this workout had accompanying video of the moves, or more detailed explanations.)

Anyway, I did the bicycle abs, back bridge, ab scissors, prone plank, fire hydrant, and donkey extension. Next time, I’ll try to do the whole routine all the way through.

I’ve never made a concerted effort to strengthen my core, and simply wishing for rock-hard abs to appear on my body hasn’t worked so far. I guess I actually have to try. 🙂

An empty gym means it’s time for an awkward gym selfie!

It also means I got to blast Taylor Swift from my phone. Is anyone else going to see her on the 1989 World Tour?? I am!!! (Thank you, husband, best gift ever!)

My hair is now too short to fit into a ponytail, so I just French braid the front parts back and pin them to stay out of my face. It works really well, even for running.  It’s kind of fun to feel what little hair I have flowing behind me as I run!

I last cut my hair in January and then left it alone for several months, thinking I might grow it long, but I’m so glad I cut it again a few weeks ago. Short hair is so easy for summer.

It also makes me feel more spunky!

To round out this random post, I’ll tell you about our new obsession with basil now that we’ve planted an herb box. We’ve been grabbing fresh basil every morning for our eggs, and I hope our plants will be big enough at some point to make pesto!

We also have cilantro, although Aaron used most of it last night to make this avocado cilantro lime rice, which was awesome, so it was totally worth the sacrifice. Maybe it will grow back? If not, we’ll just plant more basil in its place. 🙂

Any more ideas for delicious ways enjoy basil?

Last Week’s Workouts: 6/15-6/21

I’m following a non-training plan to keep myself moving when I’m not training for a race. Here’s what I did last week:

50 minutes of yoga — this Tara Stiles video. Tara Stiles founded Strala, which is the yoga studio I fell in love with while trying ClassPass. (I decided to stop using ClassPass for now, since I feel like I need to take tons of classes to make the most of it, and I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on myself.)

30 minutes of weights — this routine at the gym.

4-mile run around my neighborhood.

20 minutes of weights — this video. I overslept a bit and didn’t have time to go to the gym, so I tried a random video at home and it was OK. I still didn’t have time to finish even that!

Glorious rest.

6.75-mile trail run. I wore my new Hoka One One Challenger ATR trail shoes for the first time and loved them! They are so cushy and absorb all the rocks and roots so I don’t even feel them. Also, this is the longest trail run I’ve done so far!

I randomly bought these shoes after doing no more than 30 minutes of online research and finding nothing but good things about them. Competitor named the Challenger ATR the 2015 trail shoe of the year! What’s more, my local REI had one pair of the pink/green color I wanted left in stock, and it was my size!! Fate, I tell you.

3.5-ish mile hike. We hiked Little Si with my dad and brother for Father’s Day, but Aaron and I had to turn back before we reached the top so we could meet Aaron’s dad and stepmom for dinner. I don’t know for sure how much of the 4.7-mile (round-trip) trail we hiked, but we were on the trail for a solid two hours! It was beautiful, and not too difficult.

Overall, I feel good about my activity level last week. I think I did a good variety of workouts so I didn’t feel burned out on doing any one thing. 

I loooved starting Monday with yoga to stretch my muscles after a weekend of running and to center myself before the start of a new week. By Wednesday, I was really excited to run, and by the weekend, I was really excited to run again. I can see this being a sustainable workout plan.

The one thing I struggled with last week was waking up at 5:00 a.m. each morning to exercise. I didn’t adjust my bedtime to correspond to earlier wake-ups, so I got less than seven hours of sleep each night (which is very little for me) and I really felt the effects by Thursday (hence oversleeping). By Friday, I was more than ready to sleep in until 6:00 — OK, more like 6:30!

I love waking up early to exercise before work so I have my evenings free, but I need to be more diligent about getting to bed earlier so I get enough sleep.

One trick that I think will help is to read a few pages of my book instead of looking at my phone right before bed. I’ve been reading The Goldfinch for what feels like forever, and I really need to finish the freakin’ thing! Reading always makes me sleepy at night, so I’ll kill two birds with one stone. 🙂

PCC Cooking Class: Grass-Fed Beef

I took a surprise grass-fed beef cooking class on Thursday night! 


Aaron registered for the class months ago, but he’s been sick for the last two weeks and is still coughing like crazy. He decided it was best to skip it, but there was no way to get a refund or change his registration to a different class. Since the registration fee was a hefty $55 (it’s $50 if you’re a PCC member), I decided to take his spot so the money wouldn’t go waste.

And because I knew there would be delicious food to eat. Yum.

I probably needed this class more than Aaron, since he cooks all the meat in our house (BBQ, slow-cooker, oven, doesn’t matter — he cooks it) and I’m afraid I’d ruin it if I tried. We still have some of our grass-fed cow in the freezer, so now I actually know how to make perfectly edible and delicious burgers and steaks!

The class was held at PCC Natural Market, a natural food co-op local to the Puget Sound region, and taught by chef Darin Gagner, who was very knowledgeable and funny.

It was billed as a hands-on class, but rather than each of us manning our own food stations, Darin had all of the food up front and invited two people at a time to assist him with various parts of the food prep and cooking. I was up first, kneading a few pounds of ground beef and forming patties for burgers. (Grass-fed beef is much leaner than conventional beef, so kneading it helps evenly distribute what fat there is.) Then I was done and simply got to watch and take notes! I liked the format because it was a little less stressful than trying to keep up with every step for two-and-a-half hours.

First, we made grass-fed burgers with Beecher’s cheddar (my fave!), balsamic red onions, spicy aioli, and pickles.


Even though the burgers were well-done, they were so juicy and flavorful! The only seasoning to the beef itself was a generous sprinkling of salt and a little pepper on both sides of the patties. I could have easily eaten a whole burger, especially since the toppings were perfect complements and the potato bun was incredible! Luckily I have the recipe to make at home.

Next, we made sesame, soy, and ale-marinated sirloin skewers with ginger and plum vinaigrette and baby lettuce salad. I ate this one before I remembered to take a photo, so just imagine a little skewer with alternating chunks of sirloin, shitake mushrooms, and green onion on a bed of greens. Very delicious!

The thing I found most interesting about this dish was that Darin insisted we should always use cheap, light-colored beer — Budweiser, Coors, Corona, etc. — for marinades rather than craft beer. The flavors in craft beer are too complex and can overpower the other flavors in the marinade and, ultimately, the meat. I would have thought tastier beers make tastier marinades, so this is good to know!

The final dish was dry-rubbed grass-fed rib-eye steak with cilantro-lime butter and grilled vegetables. 


That cilantro-lime butter!!! Get it in your life ASAP:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • Zest of 1 lime, plus 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

Beat butter in a mixer on medium-high until while and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Turn power off, add remaining ingredients, then mix on low for 1 minute. Keep at room temperature until ready to use. Leftovers can be refrigerated and brought back to room temperature before use.

Again, since grass-fed beef is lean, Darin recommends adding a bit of fat to it just before serving — a drizzle of good olive oil or a dollop of butter. Bonus points if it’s herb butter!

Here are some other tips on cooking grass-fed beef that I found really helpful (and that apply to conventional beef, too!):

  • Temper all steaks and roasts before cooking — let sit out for at least 30 minutes to come to room temperature. This will result in a more evenly cooked piece of meat.
  • Pat meat dry before cooking on a pan or grill so it doesn’t stick.
  • Sear meat on high for flavor, then finish cooking on a wire rack on top of a pan in a cooler oven (250 degrees or lower) or a cooler part of the grill.
  • Turn steak with tongs, not a fork.
  • Your most important kitchen utensil when cooking meat is an instant digital thermometer. Grass-fed beef can go from perfect to dry in one minute, so monitoring the temperature is key. Darin recommends ThermoWorks brand thermometers. The worst thing you can do to a steak is cut into it to check its doneness!
  • FDA guidelines recommend that steaks and roasts should be cooked to 145 degrees F for optional safety, but Darin recommends:
    • Rare: Remove from heat at 120 degrees and let rest for a final temp of 125 degrees
    • Medium-rare: Remove at 125 degrees for a final temp of 130 degrees
    • Medium: Remove at 135 degrees for a final temp of 140 degrees
    • Medium-well: Remove at 145 degrees for a final temp of 150 degrees
    • Well: Remove at 155 degrees for a final temp of 160 degrees
  • Let cooked meat rest for 5 to 8 minutes before cutting or serving. This allows all the juices and flavor to settle into the meat.
  • To easily clean a pan, add warm water and a few teaspoons of baking soda to the pan. Simmer on the stove with a lid on for a few minutes, then clean.

TMI? I found it all really interesting! But maybe just because I was there, ha.

I probably won’t do another PCC class because they are pretty pricey and I had hoped to eat more food than we did (I was still hungry when I got home), but maybe I’m just spoiled by my past experiences with cooking classes — namely this all-day, multi-course experience in Thailand. That was as close to heaven as I’ve even been!

Have you ever taken a cooking class?

2014 Eugene Marathon Race Recap

It’s been nearly a year since the 2014 Eugene Marathon, so I should probably recap it now, huh?

The Eugene Marathon is usually in April, but last year it was on July 27. It moved back to April this year, so the race organizers probably realized late July is a fairly shitty time to run 26.2 miles.

I can’t blame my bad race entirely on the heat, though. At the time, I felt like I trained well for the race, but looking back I realize I made a few mistakes:

  • I wasn’t 100% laser-focused on the training or the race. When I registered for the race in fall 2013, I figured I’d have plenty of time to train for the marathon and then shift my attention to planning my October 3 wedding. In reality, training in the spring and summer heat became a drag after a while, and my mentality turned into: “I can’t wait until this marathon is over so I can just focus on the wedding.” My attention was divided between two huge endeavors, making me feel physically and mentally worn out. I tend to race best when I make marathon training my #1 focus, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when I flopped at Eugene.
  • I did all my training runs, but gave up easily when things felt tough. I remember several long runs during which I got a side stitch or just felt tired and allowed myself frequent and generous breaks. Not even just walking breaks, but sitting-on-the-fence-on-the-side-of-the-trail breaks. That translated into me giving up easily during the race itself.
  • I did most of my runs on a soft surface. We moved to a new town in May 2014, and I stuck to the same running route — the East Lake Sammamish Trail — for pretty much the entire training cycle. The trail is super flat, and the majority of it consists of loose gravel over dirt (although segments of it are in the process of being paved, and eventually the whole thing will be paved). I didn’t realize how much this would matter until my body started hurting like crazy partway into running Eugene’s roads, sidewalks, and paved trails. Maybe I should have trained on the same surface I was going to be running on? DUH.

So, here’s how the race went down.

Aaron and I drove to Eugene the day before the race, and stayed at an adorable Airbnb about ¾ of a mile away from the start line. We walked over a mile to the expo and back (maybe not a great idea in hindsight?), and I posed excitedly in front of Hayward Field with my bib.

If you look closely, you can see a group of incredibly fit ladies taking pictures behind me. Eugene was hosting the IAAF World Junior Championships, so the little town was crawling with really, really ridiculously muscular and good-looking young people from around the world. I felt like an atrophied blob next to them. Good times.

We ate dinner at Laughing Planet, which was ridiculously yummy, but probably a little too healthy and not hearty or salty enough. I think I had a rice bowl with some kind of meat and plantains and veggies. My best marathons have been after eating an obscenely greasy hamburger and fries (Chicago) and a super-salty/greasy breakfast (Big Sur). Live and learn.

Our Airbnb hosts had friends in town who were running the marathon, so they said I was welcome to prepare my breakfast (scrambled eggs) in the main house since the other ladies would be doing so anyway. They even insisted I use their eggs! So nice. Again, though, I should have had a heartier breakfast. For out-of-town races, I’ve been really successful with buying eggs, bacon, and potatoes from a restaurant the day before, and then either microwaving the meal or eating it cold. Don’t forget the salt!

So, let’s see, I was on my feet a little too much the day before and wasn’t properly fueled. Combined with my training mistakes, let’s see how this all played out in the race!

I slowly ran the ¾ mile to the start line as Aaron biked alongside me. He was planning to go for a ride and then meet up with me at various points along the course.

For the first time in a marathon, I chose NOT to wear my fuel belt — probably another mistake! I always drink Nuun during training, and the course had water and some other sports drink instead. But since it was going to be a hot day, I wanted to be prepared to ditch my shirt if necessary, and wearing my fuel belt on bare skin would have resulted in wicked chafing. I stuffed Gus into my shorts pockets and planned to rely on aid stations for liquids instead.

I started the race feeling fairly strong, like it was going to be a good day. I ran the first 5K in 28:42 with a 9:14 average pace, and crossed the 10K mark in 57:01 with a 9:11 average pace. 

I saw a guy riding his bike off to the side of the course, clearly keeping his significant other company. I thought, “Aww, that’s sweet. It must be her first marathon since he’s riding alongside her.” (Now knowing what happened to me later… HA.)

I think things started feeling tough during mile six or seven — wayyyyy too early to start struggling in a marathon! I was so baffled as to why running felt like slogging at that point. I figured maybe the feeling would pass, but it only got worse. 

Knowing that I still had at least three hours of running ahead of me, and the already-warm day was only going to get hotter, I seriously thought about turning off at the half-marathon split… but I knew I would be so disappointed in myself if I did. I paid for a marathon, I trained for a marathon, and I came here to run a marathon. I decided to continue the slog.

Clearly I still smile for cameras even if I’m not feeling good! Ha.

I crossed the 13.1-mile mark in 2:02:12 with a 9:20 average pace — not bad at all, really, but definitely starting to slow down from my earlier pace.

Aaron met me on the course shortly after the halfway mark and I was extremely frustrated and upset. Frankly, I had a bad attitude and had resigned myself to thinking that the rest of the race was going to suck. (I wonder what it would have been like if I was able to maintain a positive attitude? If I hadn’t allowed myself to mentally give up?) 

I gave him my tank top and was immediately relieved to feel cooler. I wasn’t even self-conscious because I was too busy being a cranky pants.

Not. Happy.

At some point, I started taking walk breaks. Not even fast walk breaks. My Garmin was set to pause if I stopped moving (or moved too slowly to register a pace), so my mile splits are not at all accurate because they only show my moving time, not all the time I spent walking slowly, sitting on the curb crying and feeling sorry for myself, flopping down in the grass, dry-heaving on all fours behind a tree, etc. All of those things happened, although I think the majority of them were after mile 20. I’m not proud of them. Now do you see why it took me almost a year to write this dang recap??

I do have accurate splits from the timing mats, though. I crossed the 20-mile mark in 3:15:10 with a 9:46 average pace.

I had anticipated seeing Aaron at the 20-mile mark, so I just focused on getting myself there. Then he wasn’t there! I forget when I found him, but it was a fairly short distance after 20, which felt like forever. And then I was a big baby (walking, flopping on the grass, etc.). He totally had to cut me off from my walk breaks and urge me to keep running, and he stayed by my side as my personal cheerleader for the rest of the race.

I still smiled for the cameras, though! Pictures can be so deceiving.

Remember that girl who I thought needed a bike escort because it was her first marathon? Turns out I needed one for my fourth marathon.

There’s not much else to say about the rest of the miles except that they absolutely sucked and were the hardest miles of my life. It’s quite telling that my Garmin time — which, remember, only represents my moving time — was 16 minutes faster than my chip time. That means I was not moving or moving extremely slowly for a cumulative 16 MINUTES during this race. So sad.

The best photo of the whole race, of course, was taken in the home stretch, just before Aaron was pulled off the course before entering Hayward field. I didn’t even see this camera because I was concentrating so hard on finishing strong, but he totally seized his opportunity.

Finishing the marathon on the track at Hayward Field was still really cool, and I was so emotional because I truly believe I wouldn’t have finished this race without Aaron’s support. He rode beside me for almost six miles at a super-slow pace, so well over an hour. He dealt with my bitching and complaining. He gave me Nuun from his water bottle. He carried my shirt the whole time. 

It was an amazing demonstration of love that we both referenced in our wedding vows.

But I had to finish this race alone. And this is a REAL smile!

My official time was 4:33:27 with a 10:26 average pace, which is 18 minutes slower than my previous slowest marathon (my very first one). But I never thought I’d see this finish line, so I’m proud! Plus, I had no idea what my time was during the race since my Garmin wasn’t accurate, so I thought I’d easily be in the five-hour range. I’m very, very happy with 4:33, all things considered.

I learned a lot from this race, but my biggest takeaway is that I shouldn’t sign up for a marathon unless I can fully commit to the training and go into it with a strong mentality. Without that, it’s too easy to give up when things get tough.

I’m not sure I’ll ever have as close to a perfect marathon as I did at Chicago, but I always learn something from every marathon. Eugene taught me a lot, and Big Sur was significantly better as a result. 

Maybe now that I’ve written all this down, I won’t make these mistakes for the next one — whenever that may be. 🙂

Time for a Sports Bra Overhaul

I lost track of when I bought the sports bras that I’ve been wearing for a long time, but a peek through the blog archives shows me it was April 2011 — more than four years ago! Yikes.

They are inexpensive Champion bras from Target, and they’ve worked perfectly well for most of those years. But over the past year or so, I noticed they had stretched out and weren’t as supportive as they used to be. They’re also thin and don’t have any padding, so when it’s cold, watch out. (So embarrassing!)

I had bra-related chafing issues while training for the Eugene Marathon last summer, so I impulse-bought a new bra online — the Lululemon Bitty Bracer — and wore it for the first time during the marathon. It was a risky gamble, but one that paid off! I didn’t experience any chafing, even though it was hot and miserable. 


Remember this photo?? I ditched my shirt somewhere along the way due to the heat, so the Bitty Bracer was featured in most of my race photos. Interestingly, the photos from this race are actually pretty good, despite it being my worst race by far. (I still need to write the recap! Soon.)

Anyway, the Bitty Bracer is a great sports bra. Nothing moves when I wear it. But it appears Lululemon discontinued it shortly after I bought it! (The equivalent bra for big-chested ladies, the Ta Ta Tamer, is still available.)

One downside to the Bitty Bracer is that its removable padding is super thin and kind of a nightmare to reinsert after washing. Ladies, isn’t it frustrating when removable padding just folds and wrinkles and looks all wonky? I wound up just throwing the pads away. Again, when it’s cold, watch out!

Recently I decided it was really time to find new sports bras. Target doesn’t carry the exact same Champion bras anymore, and the selection I found at my local store seemed to be an odd mix of hyper-supportive bras for big-chested ladies and light-support bras for low-impact activities.

I got a Lululemon gift card for my birthday, so I checked out their in-store selection and found tons of light-support bras for yoga, as well as the Ta Ta Tamer. Noooope.

Next, I checked out Lorna Jane, a fairly new store to the mall in my area. They had a ton of sports bra styles in all kinds of fun colors, and a sales associate set me up with a bunch to try on. I like really basic sports bras that don’t have anything that might chafe, like adjustable straps with those little slider things, so she avoided those. She also told me that every sports bra Lorna Jane makes offers either medium or maximum support, so anything in the store would work for running! Now we’re talking.

After a marathon try-on sesh, I chose the Molly bra, which is pretty similar to my Champion bras, but with fun mesh details and bright colors. The website says the outside of the bra is red, but in person it looks like hot pink.


I also really liked the Acrobat bra because of its v-neckline and unique, airy back. They didn’t have my size in-store — the sales associate told me they were selling like crazy — so I planned to order it online (in black, which looks like it’s not available anymore).


I also liked the Criss Cross bra, but figured I’d limit myself to two new bras so that I’d have three total to rotate through. Lorna Jane bras ($66-$70 each) are even more expensive than Lululemon bras ($42-$58 each), so I was not about to go wild buying a ton of them. Yet. A-hem.


It turns out Lorna Jane does that thing where they offer free shipping if you spend a certain amount, and of course I had to buy more than just one bra to get free shipping. I wear a sports bra nearly every day, and I had some birthday cash to spend, soooo why not? I wound up buying the Criss Cross bra as well as the Acrobat. Try not to do the math on how much I just spent on sports bras, people.

The good news is that I’m loving these bras after a few weeks of wearing them. I feel supported and stylish, and the removable pads are thick enough to easily pop back in after washing — a first!!!  As a smaller-chested individual, I also appreciate the extra shape the pads add, whereas my Champion bras pretty much flattened me. Plus, no embarrassment with cold temps. Hallelujah.

Anyway, this unnecessarily deep dive into my sports bra situation is in no way sponsored by Lorna Jane or any other company. There are no affiliate links either. I just wanted to share my new finds, especially since Australia-based Lorna Jane is new-ish to the U.S. and you may not know about it yet!

Three things to note, though: (1) Lorna Jane only makes exchanges or gives you store credit, so make sure you really want anything you buy! (2) The care instructions on my bras say hand wash only, so if you’re not down with that, look elsewhere. Using a lingerie bag on the delicate setting of the washing machine may work fine, but I’m not sure. (3) A fellow Tumblr just let me know that her Lorna Jane bras have stretched, so perhaps size down if you are in between sizes. Both small and medium sizes felt comfortable to me, but I went with smalls for more support, so hopefully stretching won’t be an issue.

I’m pretty sure anyone can find a sports bra that will work for them at Lorna Jane, since they currently have 69 different styles online! (Lululemon currently has 22 styles, half of which are more suited for yoga than running.)

This is not to say Lorna Jane or Lululemon are the only places one can find good sports bras; they’re just where I found ‘em. I totally would have bought more bras from Target if they had what I was looking for! I’ve also read good things about sports bras by Moving Comfort, which is owned by Brooks, and Oiselle.

Here are some round-ups of good sports bras that other ladies have written:

I won’t be buying new sports bras for a verrrrry long time, but tell me: What’s your favorite sports bra?

My Non-Training Plan

So, what am I even doing after the Big Sur Marathon?

NOT training for another race, thank you very much!

Marathon training can be all-consuming, and I’ve learned to limit myself to one marathon per year to avoid feeling burned out by the training. I also don’t really like half-marathons, as they somehow feel more difficult to me than marathons, and I have zero desire to pay money to race a 15K, 10K, or 5K because I know I’m not fast enough right now to update my PR in any of those distances.

That leaves me exercising with only the goal of maintaining and building fitness, and doing fun things like trail running!

My non-training plan to stay happy and healthy looks like this:

Monday: Yoga
Tuesday: Weights
Wednesday: Run
Thursday: Weights
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Run
Sunday: Run

Notice there are no time or distance requirements for those activities; I just do whatever I feel like on a given day. Typically I do an hour of yoga, about 30 minutes of weights and core work, and runs of at least 3 miles.

This view is found less than 3 miles from our place. Not bad, huh??

I’ve always wanted to try trail running, but I’ve been afraid to start while training for a race in case I sprain my ankle (again) or something. Well, there are no excuses now!

I met up with Aaron after his morning mountain bike ride at a local trail two weekends ago so he could show me the ropes. My concerns aside from spraining my ankle were: (1) getting lost, (2) getting run over by mountain bikers, and (3) getting eaten by a bear or cougar.

Aaron rode behind me (as he has many times before, sweet guy) and educated me on which paths went where and how to interact with MTB riders. Technically, MTB riders are supposed to yield to hikers and runners, but I’m prone to just jumping out of the way and waiting for them to pass, especially if they don’t yell “rider up!” in plenty of time to alert me to their presence.

Side note: Don’t wear headphones on trails. You need to be able to hear and communicate with other trail users for everyone’s health and happiness.

Anyway, we went 2.5 miles out and back for a total of 5 miles. The out part was up, up, up, but the back was almost all downhill, which was really fun. I realized the trail wasn’t that confusing, and mountain bikers rode slowly enough for us to peacefully coexist. Plus, I didn’t see any bears or cougars, and Aaron says he’s only seen “the outline of a bear” once. (WTF, that’s still scary!)

Aaron made a serious face, but he had fun, I swear.

The next day, I incorporated another part of the trail into one of my regular running routes, and still liked in. So this past weekend, I did even MORE trail running on my own and looooved it. (I’m still concerned about wild animals, but I’ll probably get over that at some point. Maybe.)

What a fun new world! I find myself wanting to run farther and farther just to explore the trail. There are also tons of other trails nearby that I can check out.

Aside from running, I’ve also tried to increase my non-exercise activity since I’m not doing intense mileage anymore. After our trip New York, I was inspired by all the walking we did and decided to embrace the walkability of our area. I stopped driving to the park-and-ride and now walk a few minutes to a bus stop for a short ride to the park-and-ride, then catch my bus to work. In the evenings, I walk home from the park-and-ride, which takes about 15 minutes. Seattle’s weather has been A+++ lately, so this is quite an enjoyable stroll! (I would walk in the morning, too, but it’s mostly uphill and I would be a sweaty beast before even starting my day.)

I also walk up three sizable flights of stairs instead of taking the escalator in the downtown Seattle transit tunnel. I’ve noticed a big difference in my stair-climbing stamina after a few months. Plus, it’s good for the legs and butt!

Anyway, that’s the update around here. Oh, plus I recently splurged and replaced an entire part of my running wardrobe with new gear — I’ll share all about that next!

P.S. I post to Instagram far more frequently than I do here, so follow me there if you like!