Wednesday, August 20, 2014

END OF SUMMER FANTASIZING

it's hard to believe labor day is just around the corner breaching the beginning of the end of those long sleepy afternoons and balmy nights. and although schools are back in session, that doesn't mean that we can't relish in the last final days of summertime. as for me, I have my own end-of-summer fantasies.

001 :: a day spent lying in the weeds and wildflowers.

002 :: chomping into the final sweet and fleshy peach.

003 :: ( one day ) taking a little and a pup to the seaside.

004 :: ringing in the fall with al fresco dinner outside warmed by firelight.

I hope your summer days are still long and that you're getting your wardrobes and waistlines ready for the upcoming fall! happy wednesday!

love, arielle

** all photos found via pinterest

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ROUND TWO :: LIEBSTER AWARD


eight months in and I figure I'm still considered new by blogger standards. so when arielle ( whose boyfriend is also named mitch, crazy! ) who writes the for the love of sweeties blog nominated me for a second liebster award, I figured I might as well give it another go. you can see my previous nomination here

the rules ::

001 :: post eleven facts about yourself.
002 :: answer the eleven questions given by the person who nominated you. 
003 :: pass along eleven questions of your own to your own nominees.
004 :: nominate eleven people and give them a head's up they've been tagged.
005 :: only nominate blogs under 200 followers.

facts ::

001 :: my favorite color is orange. but like a burnt orange, not a bright orange.
002 :: I really get a kick out of the produce section at the grocery store. and I love chopping vegetables. all those garden colors  and smells just make me giddy.
003 :: I think baths warrant a shower afterward.
004 :: I'd choose the mountains over the beach any day ( close your ears fellow floridians! ).
005 :: I buy my husband bags of doritos ( his favorite ) in exchange for him listening to me complain.
006 :: I'm of the belief that everything british is better. and I'm sure you brits get this all the time, but I could really listen to you people talk all day.
007 :: my favorite food is mushroom ravioli. closely followed by lettuce wraps.
008 :: when I was 14, I dreamed of being a professional beach bum and I am now living that dream.
009 :: I want six little munchkins of my own.
010 :: I break into tears every time I see, hear, or think of bullying.
011 :: you probably already figured this out, but I celebrate everything. and I mean everything.

arielle's questions :: 

001 :: How long did you think about starting a blog before you actually did?
years and years. even after livejournal and myspace had hit their expiration date, it took me awhile to board the blogger train. read through this blog for one month and I promise you'll find I'm quite the laggard.

002 :: What is your favourite restaurant?
any hole in the wall pizza place that gives me plenty of refills on diet coke. or you know, something more conventional like p.f. changs.

003 :: What is your favourite makeup brand?
dior, hands down. I know, I know. I have expensive tastes. but I have not found one flaw with any of their products..other than the price tag.

004 :: Are you an indoor or an outdoor person?
I guess that would depend on the season. in the spring and fall, I'm totally outdoor. and during the summer and winter, I reside mostly indoors. I don't like to be too hot or too cold. go ahead and call me goldilocks 'cause I like to be juuuussttt right.

005 :: How do you wear your hair on a day-to-day basis?
since moving to the caribbean, I have been sporting high and low ponies, as well as braids and messy buns almost everyday. though, I'm still in search of the perfect down do whilst living amidst the hot and humid. help here would be much appreciated!

006 :: If you had to move, where would you want to live?
vancouver, british columbia. no doubt about it. I love the rain, the green, the active and organic culture there. I would move there tomorrow and never look back. of course, mitch would have to come, too ;)

007 :: Would you rather have spaghetti for hair or linguini for legs? This is important.
linguini for legs. admittedly, I think I'm a pretty vain person and I don't know what I'd do if I had to look in the mirror everyday and it looked like noodles. particularly, uncooked noodles. no thank you.

008 :: What does your perfect day look like?
the sky would be drizzly and overcast, I would be wearing a comfortable, slightly fitted/slightly slouchy aztec printed sweater paired alongside some skinny jeans and hunters. I'd have hot chocolate in one hand and a munchkin in the other walking to a favorite bookstore for children's storytime or something. I can't think of anything more idyllic.

009 :: What is your favourite or go-to midnight snack?
chocolate cake. you would be proud, though. I rarely ever give into this temptation. midnight usually comes and goes without a trace of chocolate cake to be found.

010 :: Who or what inspires your personal style?
oh my, it's everywhere! it's colors I see on the ground or in the sky. it's fonts and it's crafts and it's furniture. it's idols and shops and flowers. and embarrassingly enough, it's instagram. frequently, I'll ask myself if something is instagrammable.

011 :: Is there anything you consider yourself a master at cooking or making in the kitchen?
why, yes! chocolate cake. or any cake for that matter. in university, I had a whole semester dedicated to baking and decorating cakes, and I guess it stuck.

my questions ::

001 :: how did you get your given name?
002 :: what's your favorite mode of transportation?
003 :: if you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be ( and why )?
004 :: do you dream of country hills or city streets?
005 :: if you had to workout some way, what would you choose ( and why )?
006 :: what's your favorite beauty secret?
007 :: we've all experienced little miracles in our lives, tell us about one of yours ( one you feel comfortable sharing, of course ).
008 :: if you had to choose one, what is your favorite vegetable?
009 :: are you more of a brunch or breakfast person?
010 :: what is your favorite blog at the moment?
011 :: in an ideal world, where do you see yourself in five years?

take a look at my lovely nominees :: 

001 :: the cashmere kangaroo
002 :: britt & hive
003 :: the what's in between
004 :: owl girl
005 :: broomfie
006 :: rainy london
007 :: from the lion's den
008 :: the peppermint pencil
009 :: amie e
010 :: the teresa nicole
011 :: just like honey.

be sure to let me know when you've answered your questions so that I can see your answers! after all, I am rather nosey :)

love, arielle


**photo courtesy of my friend cydney

Friday, August 15, 2014

TEN SIMPLE THINGS || HEAT STROKE

in this instance, the title of this post is actually quite literal. I did, in fact, get heat stroke hiking yesterday and in the end, it served as a reminder that I am not invincible and need to drink more water. otherwise, this was one of those weeks where I wish is was called 'twenty simple things' instead of just ten! how to narrow it down? this week was also kind of crazy. as per usual where exam week is concerned. it was full of the need and lack of organization on my part, and I'll really have to get my bum in gear seeing as I'm leaving in a couple of days for some best friend time in idaho before my race. now, let's see about those ten simple things, shall we?

001 :: spending a whole day unplugged with mitch. it's amazing how distracted one can be when you're constantly updating email, instagram, and facebook. a whole day without it really brought to light how enjoyable it is to just love where you're at. we spent the day going out to lunch and reading/relaxing poolside. I don't even think he studied..it was fantastic!

002 :: running the a/c. it was just too hot not to. I don't run it all day, but I do turn it on when I wake up in the mornings and it's amazing how it has transformed my day. I actually want to get dressed and ready to go. quite a feat in this humidity, really.

003 :: making personal pizzas with the girls at church. pizza was definitely the order of the day and it was so fun to get to know those girls a little better.

004 :: mitch agreeing to do anniversary snaps with me this year. I just love catching each stage of our relationship via camera roll and I'm so thrilled he agreed to it despite his aversion to getting his picture taken. that's love.

005 :: eating salmon & salad for dinner after eating mostly junk. for the most part, mitch and I partake in a balanced and healthy diet, but exam week usually results in quick meals that take little to no clean up. after awhile, you just need something substantial and I did not turn up my nose to a meal made entirely of fatty fish and fresh greens. it was marvelous!

006 :: binge watching suits on netflex. it's smart and sassy and full of men in clean cut suits. need I say more?

007 :: watching a whole flock of seagulls take flight. it was pretty magical to watch all of them swerve and dive at the same time. oh, to be a bird.

008 :: going on a little hike with a friend and the cutest little ones. a friend of mine asked me to join her and her two adorable children on a little hike they were going on. the views were gorgeous and I loved watching her little boy act like a sniper and clear the way for us ladies. very gallant of him, yes?

009 :: seeing a herd of donkeys. I had never seen more than one or two donkeys hanging out together before, but there were literally dozens in this field driving home from our hike. one of the littles even pointed out a bird perched on top of the donkey, which was very cute, indeed.

010 :: the mister waking me up with french toast. he really is one thoughtful guy and knows his way around some bread and cinnamon, let me tell you!

now, let's get this weekend started! I will be paddleboarding and hiking sans mitch on friday and saturday so that he can study without feeling obligated to entertain me ( he takes his final exams on monday ). and then sunday, I will be stepping foot in the states once more for some much needed time with one of my best friends. and monday, mitch and I both will officially be finished with our second semester of medical school. time is just flying by!

posts I loved reading this week ::
how to :: organize your closet by camille styles
this blackberry clafoutis recipe by m loves m
primp tip :: how to save chapped lips via lauren conrad

thanks so much for reading, everyone! and I hope your weekends are exactly the break you were looking for. follow along with me via instagram to see what I'm up to.

love, arielle


Thursday, August 14, 2014

FIVE GREEN SUMMER SALADS YOU'LL LOVE

for me, at least, lunch is the trickiest meal. I just have so many questions for lunch. like, did I make too much? did I make enough? how many dishes should I dirty for this meal? should I sit down or eat on the run? is it worth heating up my kitchen on these hot summer days? all of this pondering typically means I end up skipping the meal altogether, which really isn't the best way to go about things. especially when you're working out or running or doing just about anything else. so one day, I was in the mood to problem solve. I thought about what I crave most since arriving on this caribbean island where we experience eternal summer. the answer? green salad ( much to mitch's dismay ). and I like to throw some fruit in there to appease my nagging sweet tooth. so I compiled a little list of salads. three I found on pinterest ( a blogger's paradise ). one is a healthed up version of one I used to repeatedly order from the university food court whilst in undergrad. and one I put together based on the fact that I  am really loving a good peach & cheese combination lately.

salad one
apple, blueberry, & almond salad
what you'll need :: 
servings for two
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup romaine lettuce
1 apple, cubed
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup feta
2 tbsp honey
almonds, to preference

salad two
kale & blood orange salad via a house in the hills

salad three
green & spring pea salad with poached egg via cindy chen

salad four
peach & feta spring salad
^^mozzarella not pictured because the mister ate it all^^
what you'll need ::
servings for two
1 cup spring greens
1 cup kale
2 peaches, cubed
1/4 cup feta
1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette ( splurge! )

salad five
grilled kale salad with beets, figs, and ricotta via wit & whimsy

don't those look absolutely mouth-watering? did you ever think that you would find salad mouth-watering? I am pretty sure that if you try any one of these babies that you will never feel the urge to skip lunch again. and they are all minimal heat-producing and clean-upping, which is what I'm all about these days. less than one week left in this semester and it's once again time to pack up for another vacation and clean out the fridge. mitch and I are very excited for a little stateside adventure. but until then, enjoy your salad! ...and don't forget dessert.

love, arielle

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

DRESS LIKE A YOGI

1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6 || 7 || 8 || 9

as with any activity, my favorite part is dressing the part! in yoga, I love a good comfy crop, a loose fitting tank ( to free up your range of motion ) and an easy slip-on shoe ( so you can make as quick a departure as you'd like ). in my own experience, the trickiest part of yoga is the to-and-from. I want to make my yoga practice as convenient as possible and this sometimes means penning it right in the middle of my day. using a dry shampoo ( this one rated the best by this article ) is perfect for tiding your hair over until you get home and it still allows you to go on with your day without you worrying that your hair looks all greasy and homeless. and even if you're going straight to the showers, use a fun-but-functional headband to keep those fly-aways out of your eyes. I once had a yoga teacher tell me that if I spent my whole practice fussing over my hair, then I wasn't truly present. I couldn't agree more! and finally--the mat. a good mat is an investment and can completely transform your yoga practice. plus, you'll find that purchasing your own will elevate your practice in studio and motivate your practice at home. that manduka is my mat of choice.

what do you yogis accessorize with to optimize your practice? please, feel free to let me know in the comments. I am always looking for new ideas to motivate myself in-studio and out. happy wednesday, everyone! 

love, arielle 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"OMMMMM," OKAY.

"if I'm losing balance in a pose, I stretch higher and god reaches down to steady me. it works every time, and not just in yoga."
-t. guillemets

well guys, another week has started and like most weeks, I wasn't quite ready for it. the weekends are just too amazing these days. this past saturday, I left mitch alone to study for finals and went to the beach with a few friends. even though I technically live on a beach, I am such a baby about sand that I rarely ever get out there. but this weekend, I did and I got gloriously sunburnt. it's so weird, but I can really appreciate a good sunburn. dermatologists everywhere probably really dread patients like me. sunday, we had some friends over for dinner who have finished their time on the island. it was a very bittersweet moment. bitter for us because we will miss them dearly, sweet for them since they'll be with their family once again. there is a certain amount of isolation that comes with living on a caribbean island even amidst all of the beauty and sunshine. the rest of the weekend was spent unplugged, which resulted in no blogpost yesterday. but how was I supposed to say no to time with a certain husband of mine? believe it or not, he was actually in the mood to shop. I just hope he holds onto that feeling until we arrive in the states next week :) but seriously.

last week, I wrote to you all about my running journey and how much I cherish every mile now that I've figured out a few tricks of the trade. in conjunction with that, something that I would recommend to every runner, experienced or not, is doing yoga to compliment their running training. for my first half marathon, I incorporated yoga every step of the way. I even taught a class on campus two nights a week in order to keep myself committed. but as I graduated and moved away, my yoga practice stalled and in all honesty, I didn't think anything of it.

until last september when my running progress took a slight detour--I had to enlist in physical therapy in order to get some knee pain sorted out. you know the kind of pain where you can't walk up hills or stairs without that constant reminder that there's something wrong with you? it resulted in me sort of walking up stairs normally with one leg and swinging the other one up separately. needless to say, I totally felt like a pirate. naturally, I went to have it checked out. at first, the physical therapist thought it might be a torn lateral meniscus, which would pretty much mean undergoing a costly surgery and quitting endurance running for at least a while. but I went into a state of denial and insisted on a second opinion. a few days later, I went to see a sports medicinist a few towns over and after evaluating movements that hurt and movements that didn't, he was positive my pain was due to an iliotibial band issue, which is actually fairly common in runners. 

at first thought, I had no idea what I had done to cause this sort of reaction from my body. nothing had really changed during my training. I was on my feet the same amount of hours, running the same amount of miles, but my knee wasn't holding up the same. one night, as I was counseling with my husband over the issue, he suggested that maybe it was yoga. for the entirety of the time I was training for that first half, I was practicing yoga religiously. now, I had all but forgotten it. sure enough, the physical therapist recommended thoroughly stretching that it band out every morning and every night to relieve the problem. and luckily, I was able to forego surgery and run my second half-marathon just in time. 

it may sound silly, but I am so grateful for yoga. I am grateful that it is able to cure musculoskeletal problems the easy way. I am grateful for the power that it inspires and for the transformation it has given my body since I have started. I have seen my muscles tone and have felt my mind calm. I would encourage all of you to find a class and give it a go. be present, be on time, and just relax. yoga goes hand-in-hand with running 100%. your knees and hip flexors will thank you tremendously. here are some ways to get started at home ::

wishing all of you a happy tuesday and hoping all of you are enjoying your final month of summer!

love, arielle

**photo found via pinterest and is one of my absolute favorites.

Friday, August 8, 2014

TEN SIMPLE THINGS || "PLEASE SIR, MAY I HAVE SOME MORE?"

and I say that in my best poor orphan boy accent. but in all seriousness, if I could sum up this week into one word, it would be 'hungry'. all this running is really taking its toll on my body and my grocery budget. so it's no wonder that most of the things listed here are food related. I hate to admit it, but I'm a glutton. 

001 :: the smashbox contour kit. just recently, sephora got it back in stock and I had to snatch one up before they disappeared again. and if you order before august 10th, beauty insiders get double points!

002 :: the exterminator coming. in recent weeks, we've been having a bit of an ant problem. we tried everything and finally had to ask for an exterminator to come and take care of it. since his visiting, we are ant free and it is so nice to have that peace of mind.

003 :: a whole day of sunning. you would think that living on the ocean, getting out and getting tan would come a little easier, but no. even in the caribbean, something always comes up, so it was lovely reading in the sun all day and coming in to find a developing tan at night.

004 :: rhubarb preserves. I finally hunkered down and bought some fancy, grown-up preserves this week ( I guess the non grown-up kind are the ones you can buy in quarts ). I chose rhubarb since I've been missing that flavor this summer and was not disappointed. now, if they only sold it in bulk...

005 :: a doughnut, perfectly sprinkled. I picked it up at the bakery and it vanished before I even started the car. when I foretold this happening to the sales clerk, she was not amused. she just looked at me like I had frosting and sprinkles all over my face, which was an astute foretelling on her part because that came later.

006 :: putting coconut oil on my face. when mitch saw me do this for the first time, he looked at me as though I'd lost my mind and refused to touch me for the rest of the evening. but lo and behold, I woke up the next morning and my face was noticeably more supple and maybe it was my imagination, but it had better coloring, too.

007 :: eating a whole carton of blackberries at the beach. I base my produce pickings on what looks best. since all of our food is flown in from elsewhere, you never know what is gonna turn up ( sorry locavores; I totally believe in the cause, but it's that or get scurvy ). this week, the blackberries were looking mighty fine and I gobbled all of them up oceanside.

008 :: beach yoga. all the kids are doing it. I don't think getting back to nature knows true meaning until you're downward dogging and literally digging your fingers and toes into the sand while little waves are sweeping underneath you.

009 :: feeding the iguanas. if you follow my instagram feed, then you know our pool hosts a rather large family of iguanas. they pretty much leave you alone unless you're snacking. and I was happy to share just a few blackberries with them. I'm pretty sure they're herbivores, so hopefully no harm was done.

010 :: finishing the third harry potter book. that series is really taking me back to elementary school. my goal is to finish all seven before the twentieth. wish me luck!

this weekend is sure to be a good one, though perhaps a bit melancholy. some of the friends we have made on the island are through with their own 20-month sojourn and so we have to say goodbye. and there's really no better way to do that than with a proper beach day and farewell dinner. other than that, you can find me running twelve miles on saturday and mitch will most likely be studying for his final round of blocks. can you believe another semester has passed already? craziness!

what are your plans for this weekend? I hope they're wonderful. let me know in the comments.

love, arielle


**photo found via pinterest

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOT WATER!

I envy those of you who enjoy a big, tall glass of water. I have tried to convert myself to H2O since I found out it was good for me ( to no avail ). you see, I have a very sophisticated pallet and crave drinks of the fizzier variety. unluckily for me, this totally cramps my running style. quite literally. carbonation puts a serious hitch in the giddy-up. and then there's that whole staying hydrated thing. I definitely notice a difference in performance when I've had one too many diet cokes and not nearly enough water. on the upside, that doesn't mean I'm left with plain ol' ordinary water to keep me company. here, I've compiled five ways to hydrate differently to get those ounces down without sacrificing taste bud appreciation.

001. propel zero ( not pictured due to lack of availability ).

during lent of 2011, my culinary teacher told me he'd pass off my atrocious knife skills if I gave up diet coke for forty days and forty nights. although I doubted my ability to ever cut my potatoes into a flawless pair of dice,  I did not doubt my willpower and want for an 'a' in the class. at the time, I had one seriously awesome, supportive roommate and she brought home this 12-pack of propel zero. this flavored, non-carbonated beverage sustained me through my forty-day fast. it also has zero calories so as not to overload one's waistline.

002. herbal tea lemonade.

I am perpetually craving starbucks' passion tea lemonade--a mixture of iced herbal tea, lemonade, and flavoring of some sort. this is really quite problematic when the nearest starbucks is a thousand or so miles away ( #islandproblems ). however, after asking around and just a bit of internet perusal, I've found a way to recreate it at home. pardon me if I've healthed it up a little bit, as well. I promise, no taste was sacrificed.

what you'll need ::
1 cup water
1 teabag of favorite herbal tea
1 cup lemonade of your choice
1 tbsp honey

steps ::
001. make tea adding honey while it's still hot.
002. make lemonade.
003. combine together in pitcher adding lots of ice.
004. cool in the refrigerator.

pshhh, starbucks. I don't even need you anymore. well, at least not until fall ( hot caramel apple cider, anyone? ), the best part about this drink is that it incorporates so much water. all of that water in the herbal tea and the lemonade counts towards your daily ounceage. so get seeping!

003. coconut water.

if you like the taste of coconut, then hydrating via coconut water is really the best alternative for you. I love coconut everything, so of course this little miracle sip was no exception. especially since you can get it straight from the source here. it's kind of a comforting thought to know that if the whole island ran out of drinkable water, we could all sustain on the many many coconuts overhead.

004 :: produce-infused water.

what better way to liven up a plain ol' glass of water than with some of nature's most exquisite fruits and veggies? cucumber goes with everything and makes me feel like I belong at some fancy spa. cucumber and lemon. cucumber and lavender. cucumber and raspberry ( personal favorite ). the possibilities are endless and they all make hydrating a little more fun.


005 :: fruits & veggies.

if our human bodies are made up of mostly water, then it is no wonder that little vegetable bodies are, too. because I knew this little detail, I would actually hydrate only with fresh fruits and veggies during college. though I will say it takes a lot of fruits and veggies to equal the amount of water needed. after all, vegetables are not all water.


and there you have it! five perfectly delicious ways to get creative with water. now, I'd like to include a little disclaimer :: if I made it sound like there is a great substitution for water, there isn't. there's no such thing. we need water for all of our bodily processes and without it, we can't utilize our energy intake properly. I only meant to raise awareness that water is everywhere and it all counts! which is really good news for those of us who can claim mild diet coke addictions ;)

happy sipping, everyone! thanks for stopping by!

love, arielle

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

GEAR UP

ta-tame them.

1 || 2 || 3 || 4

top it off.

1 || 2 || 3 || 4

keep it short.

1 || 2 || 3 || 4

stay tight(s). 

1 || 2 || 3 || 4

stuff your pockets. 

1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5

I might have mentioned this before :: cute gear was one of the reasons I started running in the first place. while most of my wardrobe is soft pastels and neutrals with little hints of color, I like my running gear in all out flash--the more color, the better. sports bras should be sturdy and supportive so as to prevent any bouncing around. tanks should be breathable and absorbent to wick away all of that moisture. shorts should provide plenty of movement without riding up. and should you choose to wear tights, they should stretch as far as you can without slipping down your bum. 

I confess to not even knowing I needed a new sports bra until I tried a new one and it made all the difference. currently, I wear the victoria's secret incredible and I swear by it. but any bra that's going to keep you from bouncing through your miles is an a+ in my book. yet, I'm still dying to try that north face stow-in-go bra because of all the cool pockets. my go-to running tank is lululemon's swiftly tech tank top. it wicks away all of my moisture for hours upon hours with getting drenched. that's a pretty lovely quality in a running tank. though, I was skeptical there was magic involved. shorts...depending on my mood, my taste in shorts varies. sometimes I grab a sweet compression short and other times I go for a looser option. and these lululemon speed shorts fall somewhere in the middle. when it's hot and humid, I prefer shorts to just about any other bottoms. but as the weather begins to cool, I begin to grab a swift pair of running tights instead. in my ever-so-humble opinion, nike has the funnest running tights and I have never had a pair pill or fall apart. I love all of the different prints and colors and they have such a wide selection! that pair furthest to the right has made its way to the top of my wishlist. 

what's in your pockets? I believe that the things you carry are every bit as important as what you're wearing. I've been known to put off many a run because I forgot my garmin forerunner elsewhere. it's my constant running companion and is quite durable ( I put it through the wash a couple of times on accident ) and easy to use ( for the technologically challenged ).  I don't know what I would do without it. this goes for my ipod shuffle, as well. for years, I tried to find an armband that would fit my scrawny, pathetic little arms. finally, my husband suggested the shuffle. and not a moment too soon. it simply clips on and lasts for hours. something a little more personal is the snacks we eat. in all honesty, you don't need snacks until you're about an hour and a half into your run and I doubt most of us have the time or energy for that every day. however, I'm one of those that can't eat breakfast before I run, so I'll scarf down a stinger lemon waffle beforehand and it lasts for those more realistic, less time-consuming adventures. and whilst adventuring, there is nothing more defeating than being overcome by thirst miles from the nearest water fountain. so carry it with you. I've never used a waist pack before, but this one is something I'm dying to get my hands on. I love the color and that the bottle is big and centered so that you don't get thrown off-kilter. and I have loved all of my gregory products.

well guys, that's a hefty list! but a good one, if I do say so myself. I'm out to the pool for the rest of the day. a few days ago, I realized I hadn't been out there for an all day sunning in months and I feel I need to remedy that. and of course, I'll be getting that run in. what are you guys doing with your first wednesday of august? whatever it is, I hope it is wonderful and summery!

love, arielle

Monday, August 4, 2014

RUNNING :: MY JOURNEY

what an amazing weekend! mitch and I indulged in a real date friday night, I completed running ten miles saturday afternoon, and somehow I convinced mitch to watch movies with me the rest of the night since I couldn't get up and move around without waddling. sunday, mitch and I went for an afternoon drive after church and decided that pancakes were a sufficient sunday dinner only to end up making crêpes for dessert four hours later. we believe in redundancy in this house. 

this past friday, I mentioned I'd be focusing primarily on health and fitness during the month of august since I will be running my third half-marathon coming up on the twenty-third. so I thought I'd begin with telling you a brief rendition of how I got my start in the world of running ::
I was not always a runner, believe me. I distinctly remember attempting to run around my block in high school and having to  slow to a walk after about 100 meters in. I remember finishing a 5k in 50 minutes. I remember a 9-minute mile being a prerequisite for the volleyball team and only making it by a hair, leaving me on the verge of vomiting for the rest of practice. I remember countless instances when I had to explain to my friends, "I am just not a runner." 

slowly...

my journey to becoming a runner was a little bit like falling asleep. slowly and then all at once. in the summer of 2011, right before I got married, my then-boyfriend-now-husband walked me into my first lululemon store in edmonton, alberta. this was the ignition. I loved the vibe inside and wanted a reason to wear all of that cute activewear. we got married that september and other than peeking at their online store here and there, I didn't think about running much more. in the winter of 2012, my husband and I moved to california for his internship. I was nannying for this cute little family by night leaving my days pretty much wide open. the woman I was nannying for was fairly fit and active and probably one of the most influential people along my road to runnerdom. she was running long miles--eight, nine, ten mile runs. this seemed an impossible feat to my pathetic pair of lungs..and legs. I remember asking her how she got her start in running and she gave me some invaluable advice :: she said she would run away from her house for as many miles as she could. just when she thought she couldn't run anymore, she had to turn around and run her way home because her legs were the only vehicle that would get her there. this inspired me to start going running in the mornings, but I was out of steam before I even got to the end of her block. defeated, I would walk home again proclaiming, "I am not a runner." months later, we moved back to idaho and I began looking at fitness blogs, at pinterest, at different races I would like to run someday. but I wasn't any closer to my goal because I was only wishing, not working.

...and then all at once.

while I was wishing ( and brainstorming ), I expressed my desire to start running to my husband, my friends, my family. for my next birthday, my husband bought me a new pair of running shoes and I received a garmin running watch from my dad. now, I'm a very sentimental person and because the two most important men in my life invested in me, I began investing in myself. I remember running alone on the campus track the next day and going out of my wits with boredom. a few nights later, I was talking to a good friend about running and running races but how running alone just wasn't working for me. she empathized and it's all a little fuzzy now, but we decided to partner up and work our way toward a half-marathon. our first run was three miles and we adopted the 'run three minutes, walk two' philosophy. this worked out pretty great, actually. our miles were long, but it was the best I had ever done. we kept with it..those shoes and that watch reminding me that in a way, I owed it to my husband, my dad, myself. after a month of training, we ran a 5k and finished in 30 minutes, 33 seconds. we were pretty chuffed with ourselves. a month and half later, we ran a 10k in the snow finishing in under an hour. when most of the snow had cleared, we began again with the advice my fit, californian friend had given us--running away as far as we could go, and then making our legs carry us home. in the summer of 2013, we ran our first half-marathon ( 13.1 miles ) finishing in just under two hours. since then, that epic running buddy and I have moved apart geographically, but have continued running races and checking up with each other ever since.

because of running...


...I am confident that I can do hard things. it certainly wasn't an easy, amiable road. it was full of pot holes in the form of side cramps, sore ankles, sore hips, black toes, fatigue, weariness. it had its fair share of detours, only one of which in the form of a believed-to-be torn meniscus in my right knee. thankfully, it was only a minor it band issue and with a small bout of physical therapy, it was resolved. on the other side of that coin, I can run eight, nine, ten miles with lots of sweat and steady lungs. my legs, bum, even my back are stronger than they have ever been. I'm a healthy weight. I even majored in healthy food and fitness because it was something I yearned to weave into every aspect of my life. I have something that's mine apart from my husband, my friends, my family. I have a place I can go to think clearly and not be judged. and now, I can earnestly explain to my friends, "I'm a runner."

furthermore ::

I find that running is only easy for the few. for the majority of us, it is the hard road that I depicted above. however, I have also found that the benefits are for anyone ( who doesn't have a prohibitive physiological disability ). at school, I have seen my clients improve their resting heart rate, their blood pressure, their body fat index, their weight, and overall confidence because they began walking, then running one mile a day. and that is a seriously beautiful thing. I have seen these clients lose weight and inches, as well as reverse hypertension and type two diabetes. if you find your joints just can't handle it, I suggest swimming as a near-perfect alternative.

a few words of advice  ::

put forth a monetary investment. 
find a buddy.
get your shoes fitted.
pop-tarts are the enemy.
drink more water than you think is possible.
download a killer playlist.
take it outside, if possible.
say a prayer.
creamies are the best post-run food ever created.
in no way am I an expert. after all, I came home from my run saturday afternoon with locked out hips because 10 miles is still a crazy long ways. but I hope all of you found a few worthwhile words in my own journey toward becoming a runner. how do you guys feel about running? if you run already, how did you find your start? I would love to know. just leave your story in the comments. as always, I am so ever grateful for those of you who read this blog. have an outstanding monday, y'all! if the rest of august is going to be anywhere near as good as this past weekend, I am expecting one really fantastic month!

love, arielle
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