My VEGA favourites [GIVEAWAY!]

Hello and happy Thursday to YOU.  Loving all the positive feedback I got in regards to the Personal Planner I posted yesterday!  Let me know if you end up getting one – I’d love to see how you design it!!

I know it’s Thinking Out Loud Thursday but I thought I would interrupt regular scheduling this week and do a giveaway instead (sorry Amanda!).  I truly do love sharing my favourite things with you and doing giveaways when I can.  I’ve been working closely with Vega for quite a while now and not only are their products amazing, but the company and the people that work there are incredible.  Genuine, down to earth people who love their job and are passionate about giving people nothing but the best.  They are always coming out with new products or updating old ones, making them better, healthier, and even more delicious!

I decided to round up all of my favourite products and give one lucky person the opportunity to win EVERYTHING.  How does that sound?!

Here is what you’ll get:

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1.  Vega Sport Sugar-Free Pre-Workout Energizer

2.  Vega Sport Protein Bars

3.  Vega Sport Performance Protein

4.  Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator

5.  Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator

6.  Vega Shaker Cup

7.  NEW Vega One All-In-One Nutritional Shake (think just came out and I’ll be doing a full review on it shortly!)

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below telling me what you are most excited for this Holiday Season!  Winner will be announced on Monday, December 22.  Giveaway open to residents of the U.S. and Canada.  Good luck!

My Personal Planner!

I know I’ve already briefly mentioned this planner twice this week but I wanted to talk a little more about it today because I know there are freaks like me out there who have an obsession with writing things down.  I’ve tried to go the electronic planner route a gazillion times but it just doesn’t work for me.  I need a pen and paper.  I need to be able to flip through pages.  And I need it to be beautiful and organized.  I’m kind of Type A if you haven’t come to that conclusion already!

Anyway, a while back Lisa from Personal Planner reached out to me and asked if I would like to design my very own planner.  I sad yes.  Duh.  Now what I didn’t know was how much control I had over the design.  I had seen Personal Planners before and I assumed you just got to personalize the cover and maybe some colours on the inside.  False.  You pretty much design every bit of this thing.

First you get to choose from four different sizes:

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I picked the Wide option because it suited my cover photo really well.  I kind of turned mine into a training-type planner so I chose this photo from a spring photo shoot:

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You don’t have to use a personal photo if you don’t want to – they also have a lot of solid colours and patterns to choose from!

The inside:

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There were a variety of options for the space designated for each day.  You could have it completely blank, partially ruled, fully ruled, or striped (like mine).  I chose pink for my stripes.  Obviously.  You could also add daily details like  a ‘training’ box (what I chose – on the bottom right corner of each day).  Other options included ‘weather’ and ‘work’.  This is also where you have the option of adding personal dates like birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special occasions you have on your calendar for the entire year.  How cool is that??

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The bottom space was where you could add different modules (up to four).  I decided to just have one (a ‘to do’ list) but there were SO many – pre-school, dinners, exams, graph, idea, tune, etc.  I left the rest as ruled lines so that I could write whatever I wanted.

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The back pages were left for year overviews or blank/ruled/squared pages.  I chose an overview of 2015 and 2016 for my first section and then left the second section as ruled pages.  I’m always looking for space to write in a training journal so I appreciated the extra pages to jot things down!

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The owner info page was the last part to customize and I made mine super simple.  “2015 will be MY year” up top and then my name, personal email, and phone number at the bottom (deleted from above photo for privacy!).

And that’s it!!  I loved the entire process of designing this planner and that’s why I am sharing it with you guys.  I honestly think that it’s such a great idea and will definitely be using this site for future planners!  I spent about $40 for my current Kate Spade planner this year which I do love but the fact that you can design your own and make it SO personal for the same price is pretty awesome.  I can’t wait to get mine in the mail!!

This is not a sponsored post but I was given the opportunity to design my own personal planner free of charge.

Happy Wednesday!

A wish list that has nothing to do with running (!!!)

I’ve already posted some gift ideas for runners and if you missed it, you can check it out here!  Believe it or not, I like things that have nothing to do with running as well.  Crazy, I know.  And for some reason, I’m a sucker for all things pink, grey and gold.  All three colours by themselves or together just make me really happy.  Here are some of the things that are pulling at my heart strings…and that I wouldn’t be totally opposed to getting… ;)

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1.  Personal Planner ($29.95 – $39.95) – I actually designed one of these over the weekend and had so much fun in the process!  So it’s not on my “wish” list anymore but on my “I wish it would get here ASAP” list!  Mine looks a lot different than the one in the picture above (posted a preview of my version yesterday) and I’m really excited to receive it.  I’m a total planning nerd so I will be doing a more in-depth post about the site tomorrow!

2.  Anthropologie Monogram Mug ($10) – I’d probably drink a lot more tea if I had this beautiful mug!  Or maybe I can just drink my smoothies out of it…?  Love, love, love the gold.

3.  Albion Fit Petal Pant ($68) – Albion has had this style for a while but they just added the icy pink/grey combo and I just about died when I saw them post it to their Instagram.  So feminine and cute and way too nice to wear for working out!  they’re like fancy stretchy pants for special occasions.  Don’t look at me like I’m crazy.  You know you have fancy tights and not-so-fancy tights separated in your closet too.

4.  Lululemon Blissed Out Circle Scarf ($88) – Cozy.  Warm.  Reversible.  Pink and Grey.  #enoughsaid

5.  Tory Burch Reva Flat ($250) – I know I mentioned these already but I’m still thinking about them…

6.  Thought Blossoms Simple Initial Necklace ($35) – Heather’s jewelry is just so delicate and perfect.  I’ve already got a few of her pieces and this one is next on my list.  It comes in silver too!

7.  Milk and Honey Luxuries Cereal Killer Spoon ($16) – HOW CUTE IS THIS?!  I came across their Etsy shop over the weekend and they hand stamp ALL THE THINGS!  The spoons were my fav for sure.  They’ve got a lot of cute little sayings available (good morning sunshine, my ice cream spoon, let’s spoon, nom nom nom…) but you can also get a custom one made.  These would make such cute gifts for any occasion.

Happy shopping!

Christmas Eve is one week TOMORROW!  Hope no one is too stressed out!  :)

Marathon Monday: when things don’t go as planned

I have nothing exciting to tell you about running today.  As most of you know, I had strep throat which turned into some flu-like disaster last week so I did pretty close to nothing for a good 6ish days.  I tried going into work for 1.5 of those days and it was pretty torturous.  Trying to teach kids when you are not feeling 100% is definitely not easy.  Didn’t help that my voice was shot too.  This is just the way things go sometimes though.  As much as we try to prevent ourselves from getting sick, it just happens.  I had anxiety about missing some training runs and not following my plan like I was supposed to but at the end of the day, a week off running won’t make or break me.  Better yet, it lit a fire under me and I’m going into this week ready to SMASH my runs and workouts in the FACE.

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So what does one do when things don’t go as planned?

1.  Answer emails.  I honestly don’t even get that many emails but for some reason or another, I can never keep up.  I am making it a goal of mine to go back to my “reply right away” days because the whole “read it now, reply later” isn’t working out too well for me.  “Later” ends up being like two weeks (or more).  So embarrassing.

2.  Stalk the marathon journeys of other people.  I’m on Instagram a lot to begin with but holyyyyyy cow.  I was completely attached to it as if I was doing a research assignment (which I kind of was… ;) ).  This whole idea of me trying to BQ sounded crazy years ago.  People would ask me if I was trying to qualify for Boston and my answer was always HELLLLL NO.  I never ever thought in a million years that it would be attainable for someone like me.  FALSE.  I came across some people who I could relate to in marathon time terms (try saying that 10x fast!).  If you don’t follow @fueledbyfrosting on Instagram, GO DO IT.  Here’s a glimpse into her journey:

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Right now I stand at 4:19, 3:53 and 4:00.  A sub-3:35 sounds freaking nuts but hey, it’s been done and I’m gonna do it too.  It may not be in Phoenix but it will be soon.  I just know it.

3.  Attempt minor blog updates/additions and FAIL miserably.  PB Jenny to the rescue, as usual.

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4.  Take out ALL the food.  P.S. the broccoli and cauliflower soup is NOT one of my favourites.

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5.  Design a 2015 planner/training journal (more about this in a separate post!).

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6.  Make GINGERBREAD MEN!

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I’ve had three boxes of gingerbread mix in my cupboard since last year so I finally got the urge to bust one open.  All I had to do was add an egg, butter and water.  I used a flax egg and Earth Balance instead and it worked wonderfully.  It doesn’t make them much healthier but I hate looking at/cooking with real raw eggs.  I just can’t.

8.  Hang with thisssss guy:

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That’s as exciting as it got around here over the weekend.  Here’s to attempting a full week of work and workouts!

Happy Monday!

Thinking Out Loud #38 [aka the worst week ever]

I’d say Happy Thursday but today is in fact EVERYTHING BUT HAPPY.  Let’s talk about it in Thinking Out Loud style, okay?

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1.  Remember how I said I nailed all of my workouts last week?  Well this week has been the complete opposite.  Not one run or strength training session yet.  NOT ONE.  I woke up Monday morning feeling like complete ASS so I stayed home from work and went to see my doctor who told me I had strep throat.  It literally felt like I was swallowing shards of glass no matter what I ate/drank.

2.  I went to work yesterday (my doctor put me on antibiotics and said I would no longer be contagious) and it was a big mistake.  My voice was mangled from my throat being wrecked and it’s really hard to teach phys ed when you have no voice.  I was able to rest once I got home but woke up this morning feeling 10x worse.  I had to call in sick and felt horrible doing so because we got hit our first big snowfall and I am guessing a lot of teachers didn’t make it in because of the bad driving conditions.

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3.  I am going through one of those phases where food doesn’t interest me.  This happens to me at least once a year.  Maybe because I’m sick but I literally cannot find one thing in my house that makes me say “YUM THIS IS ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!” I hate everything and if I could live of liquids right now without feeling like I am going to die, I would.  Someone bring my tastebuds back.  Please.

4.  Today was one of the most unproductive days of my life.  You’d think I’d get a few things done while being at home but nope.  I’ve been in my dishevelled bed all day.  There aren’t even any sheets on it.  They’re currently in the dryer and I have been too lazy to even walk downstairs to get them and attempt to put my bed together.  I’ll get on that…in a second.

Let’s switch gears and talk about some not-so-negative things now.

5.  What I DID do today was post a Pro Compression giveaway over on my Instagram (I know, how productive) so if you’d like the chance to score a sweet pair of compression socks, go enter!  It’s so easy.  The December sock of the month (with the snowflakes) is so darn cute.

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Also – using code BLG14 will get you 40% off your entire order…#stockingstuffers ;)

6.  You guys might be sick of hearing me talk about the Phoenix Marathon by now but just a couple more months of that, okay?  The full marathon is actually REAL close to selling out so I just wanted to give you all a heads up in case you were still on the fence about registering.

LOOK AT THAT ELEVATION:

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A #TBT from last year:

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That code (XTINA10) will get you 10% off ANY DISTANCE.

7.  Another great Buzzfeed article: 22 Pictures That Prove That 2014 Is The Damn Future

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8.  I am off to online shop!  Today I received a 30% off promotional code for Tory Burch from my Instagram friend Melanie (THANK YOU!).  I have been wanting a pair of Reva flats for as long as I can remember but could never justify paying the price ($225-$250 before tax here in Canada) so I may finally bite the bullet thanks to Melanie and get myself a pair for Christmas.  I am sort of obsessed with these ones…

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…but will probably end up getting a more practical colour…or not.

Hope you are all having a better, healthier, more productive day than I am!

Marathon Monday: a different kind of long run

HOLLA.  Hope you all had a fab weekend.  Mine was pretty low key and somewhat relaxing but I woke up this morning not feeling my best so I decided to stay home and take a day off work.  Hoping to be back to 100% tomorrow.

Anyway, let’s recap last week’s workouts first and then I want to talk about something Phaedra has me doing once a month!

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Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 6.2 miles @ 8:40 AP

Wednesday: strength training

Thursday: OFF

Friday: 6.2 miles @ 9:27 AP (hill repeats x6) + strength training

Saturday: 4 miles @ 8:29 AP + strength training

Sunday: 14 miles @ 8:32 AP

I thin it’s pretty safe to say that I nailed all of my workouts this week.  I got all of my runs in along with three strength training sessions which hasn’t happened in foreverrrrrr.  Now I just need to add yoga in somewhere and it would be perfect.  Someone just needs to teleport me to a yoga class because getting there is the part that I’m bad at.  One of these days.

Yesterday was cold.  It was -7*C when I left my house for my run at 7:18am.  I was not too excited about having to run 14 miles and contemplated pushing it to the afternoon when the sun would be out.  I know that I suck at afternoon workouts and that there would be a 99% chance of me not running if I waited so I dragged my butt out and told myself if I hated being outside then I would allow myself to cut my run short and finish on my treadmill later.  Even though my entire body was frozen for the full two hours, I didn’t quit and I am pretty proud of that.  I was miserable for a good portion of the run and it took quite a while for my body to get into a decent pace but it finally happened and I pushed myself a little differently this week.

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Phaedra has me running long runs with a fast finish once a month.  I was supposed to do this last Sunday but that didn’t happen because we were having too much fun celebrating Heather’s birthday and I wasn’t worried about my pace or time.  The goal was to run my last six miles at race pace (based on my last half marathon) but I only managed to pull it off for the last three: 9:31, 9:17, 9:02, 8:47, 8:43, 8:54, 9:49, 8:50, 8:04, 8:10, 8:00, 7:47, 7:46, 7:47

I’m still pretty happy with the way things went down and think that training like this is going to help me big time.  It’s all about learning how to push the pace on tired legs.  I also love that it gave me something else to focus on.  Long runs can get really boring so knowing that there was a goal to hit for the last few miles took my mind off the fact that I still had x miles to go.  These runs will undoubtedly get harder as long runs get longer but if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you…right?  If you want to run faster, you’ve got to…RUN FASTER!  Duh.

And because some people asked after I mentioned that I chopped my hair in my last post, here it is:

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The way my hairdresser blow-dries it vs. my sad attempt.  I do miss my long waves but this will be much easier to maintain during the winter.  It was taking too long to dry in the morning after my runs and I can’t leave the house with it wet like I do in the summer or else my hair will turn into icicles!  This will be much faster! :) And yes, I have been living in my Equal Bones hoodie!

Have a great day!

Thinking Out Loud #37

Thinking Out Loud Thursday is heeeeeeeere!

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I’m very brief with my thoughts today…

1.  The only way they should be…

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Fat Bastard Burrito puts NOODLES and COLESLAW in their burritos.  Don’t knock it ’til you try it. #lifechanging

2.  The man bun.

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Source

I’m still unsure about this.  Except on him.  I’m 100% sure it works for that guy.

3.  GAS PRICES!

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My car is small but still…it hasn’t been this cheap since the year I bought it.

4.  Saw this on Sunday’s long run:

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A WHITE SQUIRREL.  He was kinda cute.

5.  Hellooooo new friends.

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Meet the new Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 and Wave Inspire 11.  Sooooo excited to break these in.

6.  I think you need to try these:

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Do not eat them before a tempo run.  Just trust me on this one okay?

7.  Tomorrow you can find me doing a whole lot of this:

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CANNOTTTTTT WAIT.

That’s it for today’s randomness.  I just got back from chopping off half my hair and now I’m going to go treat myself to some Starbucks.

Hope you had/are having a great Thursday!!