The Best of August 2014

Can you believe it’s already the end of August? Yesterday was my last day with Pledge and it was extremely bittersweet. Despite leaving on great terms and knowing that I’m leaving to pursue a dream and make a huge impact, I was in tears by 9:30am as I posted my farewell on Instagram.

It was a quiet day for me with all of my campaigns handed over to my replacement and all intros made. The emails coming through were strictly “goodbye” and “thank you” with the occasional question or project update. One of the campaigns I managed (and pledged for) was the Soil & the Sun’s “Meridian.” This band is truly talented and I couldn’t wait until Monday to share, so here’s a video they posted of the ladies in the band performing “I Know It (I Feel It, Too).” Truly remarkable.



Anyway, it is the end of the month and it’s been a crazy month so I thought we’d look back on some of my favorite posts from the month…


Dream Big Things. Do Big Things. Make Big Impact.

50 states in a year graphic

Running with FlipBelt

flip belt7 Days of Positivity


A Tough Decision


Taking My WOD Up A Notch With Reebok CrossFit Nano


The Cool Kids

Photo on 8-8-14 at 8.43 PM

The Unexpected Benefit of CrossFit



(maybe this post makes more sense given the recent events)


From Eden


What was your favorite part of August?

Running with FlipBelt

Somedays it’s still hard to accept that I’ve deferred my marathon entry while other days I’m so proud of myself and know it was the best decisions for me (right now). But regardless of my current training, one thing I’ve learned over the years of race training and especially as I got into longer distances, is how much stuff you have to carry on you.







This may not seem like that much but when you stop and think about how all of this must be carried ON you, you realize it’s a bit much. I’ve tried numerous gadgets made to make this easier but couldn’t quite find the one that I loved. My old pack that sat around my wait was bulky as soon as I put stuff in it, bounced around and sometimes felt like it was giving me a stomach ache. The one around my wrist wasn’t that big, made getting things out of it challenging to do while running and made my wrist too warm (yes, that’s a thing!). I found what I really liked was using the pockets in my shorts but even still, they can only hold so much.


When I was presented with the opportunity to try the Flip Belt as part of my Sweat Pink partnership, I jumped at the chance! At the time I was still marathon training and knew with longer runs on the horizon, I needed to carry more fuel on me.


…then the deferment happened and my runs got shorter. My need for something to hold fuel wasn’t necessary but I was still excited to try out this new (to me) device on my next run. My roommate and I set out on a short 2 ½ mile run only a couple days later and instead of using my normal arm band, I stuck my keys and phone in the Flip Belt and off we went.


I’m not kidding when I say this is super comfortable! My stuff wasn’t flopping around and I looped my keys into the built in clip and didn’t worry about them falling out every 2 seconds. The belt didn’t bounce around and it never felt like it was sticking into my stomach. Plus, it can be machine washed & dried which we know will be needed once and awhile. ;)

flip beltOnce again the following weekend, instead of grabbing my usual arm band, I grabbed my flip belt and went off for another little run. Love it!

Tweet: Run, play, explore with #FlipBelt! Use the code sweat33 for 10% OFF your entire purchase! @flipbelt @fitapproach

While I do still love running, I’m definitely trying to repair that relationship and as such, CrossFit has continued to take over. Not that I’m complaining. We’ve had some awesome WODs this week that have left me crazy sore but in the best way possible, of course!

Friday 8/22

Front squat 5-5-5+ : 85# (9)

WOD for time: “Elizabeth”


Cleans (55#)

Ring Dips (green band)

Time: 8:14


Saturday 8/23



Sunday 8/24

2.25 mile run


Monday 8/25

Push Press 3-3-3+ : 75 (3) & 80 (1)

WOD 5 rounds for time:

6 Clean & Jerks (55#)

2 rounds of “Cindy” (5 pull-ups w/ green band, 10 push-ups w/ red band, 15 air squats)

Time: 18:52


Tuesday 8/26

Deadlift 5-5-5+ : 105# (15)

WOD – 3 rounds for time:

300m run

20 Kettlebell Swings (25#)

15 Burpees

time: 12:57


Wednesday 8/27

Hang power snatch 3-3-3-1-1-1 50#

AMRAP in 12:00

3 rope progressions

20 box jumps (16”)

3 handstand kicks

20 situps

score: 5 +1 box jumps


Thursday 8/28

Front Squat 3-3-3+ 75# (10)

WOD – 5 rounds for time:

10 Deadlifts (95#)

50 Double Unders (75 singles)

time: 6:30


How do you like to carry your stuff around while walking/running/hiking outside?

What was your fitness like this week?

I received this Flip Belt in exchange for this review through my partnership with Sweat Pink but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Make sure you head over to Lindsay’s List today as I’ve made an appearance to talk about the 50 States tour!

Getting Pretty Muddy (for a 2nd year)!

What a roller coaster, bittersweet, all over the place kind of week! As I’m finishing up my final tasks and handing over my campaigns at work, the reality keeps hitting me in the face – this is actually happening.

50 states in a year graphicIt’s not that I’ve doubted it (aside from the normal scared doubts from time to time), this just feels right which is why I’ve continued to push forward and develop the idea. But it’s funny, just when Sam or myself are sitting around worrying, some puzzle piece falls into place or there’s some reminder that we’re really setting out to do big things. A few donations rolling in this week has also helped, let’s get real.

Anyway, I owe you a recap from when Amanda was in town and we did the Pretty Muddy mud run, so let’s get to that, shall we?

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 5.02.37 PM

Our morning started early but quite honestly, not that early which was nice considering the hour long drive to the race. After breakfast and coffee we piled into the car and made our way to Pretty Muddy farms.

Upon arriving, we checked in and got our bibs, dropped off our stuff at gear check, and took a few “before” photos. There was a “warm-up” being led by a local gym so we joined in before making our way to the starting line for our heat.


As with most races, we had to start walking until the group dispersed a bit but I was surprised when no one started running. Eventually Amanda and I just zigzagged our way through the group and took off on a jog. We did a nice little walk/run as Amanda hadn’t run for a few weeks and I hadn’t since deciding to defer my marathon entry.


We made our way through the course, stopping to finish each “obstacle” before taking off for the next stop. Some obstacles were better than others, but with my favorites being the big slide, tall A-frame rope climb and giant mud pit at the end.

When we finished the race, we were greeted with our Pretty Muddy medals, a bottle of Propel water and sent on our way to go hose down and change clothes. Of course we made sure to take a few photos first.


This is the second year I’ve been given the opportunity to do the Pretty Muddy mud run so I thought I’d share a few of the pros and cons I’ve witnessed in the last couple years.

-Race bib pick-up was quick and painless
-They had t-shirts this year (they didn’t last year which seemed weird)
-Bag check was super easy and the volunteers were very friendly
-They donate your muddy shoes at the end if you don’t want them anymore.
-MUD! Because who doesn’t like to get a little dirty once and awhile?
-It’s not timed so you can just make your way through the course and have fun!


-Parking fee is $10 which is high (they donate to charity so you do feel better about it but that still seems really high to me)
-The parking field definitely could have been mowed better as the grass was still really long which made it super buggy but it also wasn’t marked well for how to get out and volunteers directing in the lot were not helpful.
-I felt weird for wanting to run…I remember a lot of walkers on the course last year but not where I felt like a total weirdo for running it
-Since it’s in the corn fields, it’s not even ground and you do need to be careful so you don’t roll your ankle!
-I want more mud!

after after

Regardless, it was still a really fun morning and I enjoyed getting to hang out with Amanda. I said last year that it’s definitely a race to do with a friend vs by yourself and I still couldn’t agree more!

Have you ever done a mud run? Would you?

*A special thanks to Amanda’s boyfriend, Dave, for being our photographer for the day and putting up with us cougars for his birthday weekend.* ;)

dance & amanda

Cooking With Green Tea

There’s no doubt the last few weeks (months maybe?) that getting the motivation to COOK dinner (aside from eggs or throwing a salad together) is just too much work. Whether it’s because I’m feeling too tired, lazy or just unmotivated doesn’t matter, the fact is just that it needs to change. Those nights are ok (and normal) once and awhile, but I often find it too easy to fall into that trap and next thing I know, I can’t remember the last time I cooked myself dinner.


For the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to force myself to make at least one thing per week. Even if I pair it with a salad or steamed veggie, the idea is to step outside my comfort zone and make sure I’m changing up my meals. I usually try to make enough that I get a few leftovers too, which is even better!


So when I was challenged to try cooking with Oi Ocha’s Shincha green tea, I couldn’t pass it up! Challenge accepted!

Challenge-Accepted-Barney-StinsonImmediately I knew I wanted to make salmon and an asian inspired cauliflower rice, I just wasn’t sure how I was going to incorporate the green tea. Then it hit me – poach the salmon! And that’s exactly what I did and it was delicious and super easy!

2photoI brought the green tea to a boil with 1 sliced lemon, dropped in the pieces of salmon and cooked for about 5-7 minutes. On the side I paired it with cauliflower rice (a bit overcooked but still delicious!). This was such a yummy and once again easy dinner!


The poached salmon has also been a great addition to veggie-filled salad for lunch.


Are you up for the challenge to cook with green tea?

What would you make?

Joining WIAW!

7 Days of Positivity

Sometimes I look back and can’t believe how far I’ve come…and I don’t just mean in my physical health and eating habits, but in my mental/emotional well-being. Sometimes you don’t realize how negative your outlook was until you look back and see how far you’ve come or notice the negativity that surrounds you everyday in others.


I’m very much one of those people that feeds off others energy, whether positive or negative, and it doesn’t take much for me to start sliding down someone else’s bad day, mood or energy.  So I was excited when Chris from I Failed Fran invited me to participate in the 7 days of Positivity challenge where each day you make note of 3 things that made you happy. Such a simple way to reflect on your day and those happy moments.

Monday 8/18:

1. Kicking some serious butt at the morning WOD (which included snatch!) getting 6+ rounds!

2. Trying a delicious and new to me bar, AMRAP Refuel, which I absolutely LOVED! Looking forward to having another clean, easy grab-and-go option.

3. Wine and tour mapping with Sam.


Tuesday 8/19:

1. The great reaction and support from friends and family for 50 States!

2. A seriously sweaty, hard yet awesome WOD at CrossFit.

3. Catching up with Tina and her telling me she hasn’t heard me this pumped up and excited over something in a REALLY long time. It’s further proving I’m doing what’s right!


Wednesday 8/20:

1. Sled pushes – no one said they’re easy but it’s a fun way to change up a WOD!

2. 50 States In A Year Facebook page hitting over 100 likes in less than 24 hours!

3 .Getting in a zone and getting things done!


Thursday 8/21:

1.Kick ass WOD! Honestly, always the greatest way to start my day!

2.Tea & chocolate with Sam!

3.A Delicious dinner cooked by my dad!


Friday 8/22:

1. 55# cleans during “Elizabeth” – and despite starting out the WOD feeling like it was going to be too much, finished strong!

2. Learning that I can move onto a harder band for ring dips – all unbroken sets during the WOD.

3. An endless supply of coffee…seriously, they kept refilling my cup!


Saturday 8/23:

1. Coffee with an old high school friend.

2. An unexpected afternoon nap.

3. Dinner and drinks with a few girls from CrossFit, followed by meeting up with others from the box.


Sunday 8/24:

1. A quiet start to the morning.

2. Another unexpected afternoon nap.

3. A delicious homemade dinner that wasn’t nearly as difficult as I convince myself. (Again).


And because I want to keep spreading the love, I tag Brittany, Amanda and Ashley to join the positivity!


What’s made you happy lately?

P.S. 50 States made an appearance over at Diary of a Semi-Health Nut today! Thanks to Amanda for having us! :)

A little positivity calls for a little Thinking Out Loud, don’t ya think?

Dearly Departed

I know I’ve said on numerous occasions how much I love the CrossFit community but it still surprises me how it’s provided me such a support group. Saturday night I went out to dinner and drinks with a couple of the Dawn Patrol (5:30am class) girls. After dinner we met up with another group of CrossFitters at another bar. It was a fun night and honestly, just what I needed to take my mind off all of the 50 States planning that needs to go down.

10448672_1542705352615033_5672779326569184887_oAside from being super thankful for these ladies, I was excited to wake up Sunday morning and get in a short run. It was super humid so it wasn’t an easy run but I pushed through which makes me feel like I’m on the right path to repairing my relationship with running post-marathon deferment.

1908421_10100224356724329_3657387542969115306_nAfter my run, I hit up the grocery store, did some recipe testing and then sat down to tackle my to-do list and prepare for the week. Obviously this calls for music. My Sunday soundtrack this weekend called for a little Shakey Graves, especially after hearing one of the songs off his new album due out in October called “Dearly Departed.”


SO GOOD, right? I swear I could listen to it on repeat for hours. And those harmonies with Esme Patterson – whoa! I hope they collaborate more often because it’s so good! But regardless, it definitely set the soundtrack for the rest of the day.


Side note: I made an appearance over at Olives N Wine today, check it out!


How was your weekend?

What’s on the agenda for your week?

*Joining in for Katie’s Marvelous Monday!*

A Lot of Sweaty WODs

How is it already Friday? Not that I’m complaining or anything but I feel like the weeks have been flying by! This is usually a good thing but as I find myself in full-on 50 States planning mode, I’m hoping time doesn’t go by too fast, we still have a lot to do!

dream big image

The good news is that we’re getting TONS of great feedback which just further fuels my fire and really makes me believe the huge impact that we can make with this mission. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do, we’d love to have you a part of this! Yes, YOU!

photoAnyway, while Friday came fast, it was another full week! My fitness over the weekend was definitely quite a bit easier than normal with Saturday’s mud run (err…walk/run) and a short and easy run with the roommate on Sunday. Otherwise there were a lot of very sweaty WODs at CrossFit and we all know I wouldn’t have it any other way! ;)

Friday 8/15

Strength: deadlift 10-10-10 (75#)

AMRAP in 10:00:

-200m run

-15 sumo deadlift high pull (45#)

-20 push-ups (red)


Saturday 8/16

5k mud run (walk/run) with Amanda


Sunday 8/17

2.11 mile run with roommate


Monday 8/18

5RM Overhead Squat – 50#

AMRAP in 12:00

5 Power Snatch (35#)

10 Toes to Bar (knee raises)

15 Wall Balls (8#)

Score: 6+7 knee raises


Tuesday 8/19

Bench Press: 5-5-5+ – 65# (5)

WOD for time:

Run 300m

Then, 3 rounds of:

20 clapping push-ups (purple)

30 box jumps (12”)

Then, finish with 30 burpees

time: 11:54


Wednesday 8/20

Hang Power Clean 3-3-3-3-3: (i forgot…oops!)

AMRAP in 10:00

15m Sled Push

15 KB Swing

15 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls

Score: 4


Thursday 8/21

Push Press 5-5-5+: 70# (8)

WOD for time:

500m row, then 5 rounds:

-10 pull-ups (green+red)

-20 walking lunges

then, 500m row

Time: 11:30


I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s REST day and even thinking about trying to get in some yoga on Sunday…say what?! What’s yoga? ;)


How were your workouts this week?

Any fun plans for the weekend?

On My Mind…

I was hoping to tell you guys all about Sunday’s mud run but they haven’t posted pictures yet and I was hoping there might be a few cute ones I could snag, so that’ll have to wait. Picture companies don’t seem to understand the timeline of bloggers… ;)


Instead, I figured I’d share a few things on my mind this week because let’s get real, there’s a LOT on in my head!


1. I’m so incredibly humbled! The kind words and support I have received since Tuesday’s announcement has been amazing! I can’t express my gratitude enough. I hope you’ll all follow along on that journey with me. I still plan to post here too but it might not be quite as often, let’s get real! ;)

50 states in a year graphic2. Speaking of 50 States In A Year, there’s a new post up about how YOU can help be a part of our journey. Every like, share, penny or idea helps. :)


3. Sam and I had a 5 hour planning meeting Monday night. She brought over dinner and we sat outside with wine enjoying the weather while discussing different things about the trip.


After eating, we got to the big task of the evening…

10351086_1549119061978788_2628926964979218074_n…routing an entire year of our lives. It was a huge task but quite honestly, came together better than I think either of us could have imagined. I’m sure it helps that I’ve got experience booking tours for bands and could strategically figure out how we could piece things together. I also had a few mad scientist moments.

10387313_1549312998626061_6178790377419990946_n4. Clearly the majority of what’s been on my mind is 50 States related and obviously that’s with good reason but I’m sure you guys want to see something else…so here’s a little guy Amanda and I saw at Petco Saturday afternoon. I think he wants out. Anyone a fan?

gecko5. And for good measure, a little inspiration for your day…


Tell me something on your mind!

Bloggers Don’t Turn Down Froyo

I mentioned that Amanda was coming to town over the weekend to run the Pretty Muddy mud run (more on that tomorrow!) but it was also her boyfriend’s birthday weekend so he came with and we turned it into a big weekend of fun!


They got to town Friday night and as soon as they arrived, we made our way for pizza! It wasn’t “Chicago style” but we went to a local favorite of mine that has baskets of peanuts on each table and where you get to throw the shells on the floor. Sometimes it’s nice to get a little messy. I failed at taking a picture of my pizza but it was delicious – peppers, mushrooms, and no cheese. Mm!


After we got home and showered post-mud run, we were hungry! They decided tacos sounded good so we made our for Mexican until they spotted Bonefish and decided we needed to pull an audible so they could get some bang bang shrimp. I’m not one to turn down Bonefish..and in fact, we all still got tacos!

tacosI went for the tilapia tacos with a side salad. SO good!


After walking around for a bit, we decided healthy living bloggers are supposed to get frozen yogurt when they get together and we’re not one to break the rules. ;)

froyoamandaThey made me a blueberry sorbet as a dairy-free option which I topped with more blueberries, strawberries and some chocolate chips and sprinkles. It was so good!!

froyoAfter we came back to my place to rest a bit and ended up watching Sharknado…it was really stupid but made for a good laugh. Pretty sure I also kept dozing in and out of sleep while it was on.


When it was time to go meet up with Dave’s friends for dinner, I was exhausted and my head was pounding so I stayed home, ate my leftover cold pizza and went to bed. I was so sad to lose a few more hours to hang out with one of my blend BFFs, but I knew it was what I needed to do.


It was a fun weekend with great company and delicious food, who can ask for anything more?


On a side note – thank you ALL for your support on yesterday’s post! This really is the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever taken and while scary, my heart believes this is right and that I’m putting myself in a place to make a huge impact. I couldn’t be more stoked!

What yummy things have you eaten lately?

What’s your favorite froyo topping?

Dream Big Things. Do Big Things. Make Big Impact.

Often when life presents you with a tough situation you fight going with your gut or following the logical path. I’m not one for going with the norm, I’d rather set my own trails and push the boundaries to find the road less traveled, to make the biggest impact, and to become a better version of myself.

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 2.49.04 PMI have shared that quote by Steve Jobs on many occasions as it’s become one of my life mantras. I don’t (and won’t) live someone else’s life. I don’t (and won’t) follow someone else’s dreams. I don’t (and won’t) allow other’s opinions to drown my own. I will only wake up each morning and live my life, follow my dreams and take the risks that truly set my heart on fire.


On Friday I had one of the hardest and scariest, yet easiest and most comforting calls of my life. For that I am truly grateful. It was a call with my boss to discuss the end of my time with the company (for now). It was in no way an easy conversation for either party but I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such an amazing team at such a wonderful company and do hope our paths cross in the future.


But I’m not leaving my job to sit on my butt. I’m leaving so I can set out on the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever taken (and that’s saying a lot)! I’m leaving so I can pull together a huge community of people and lead them to make a big impact! And it’s called 50 States In A Year!

50 states in a year graphicI’m not even kidding. 


50 States In A Year is a charity fundraising tour where a friend and I will be traveling to all 50 states over the course of a year. We will be traveling in an RV (or hoping to, working on getting one of those!), staying with friends, and seeing what this beautiful country has to offer. But more important, we are raising money for the CrossFit for Hope charity. We will host fundraising WODs at boxes across the US to bring the CrossFit community closer together while all working towards the same goal – giving back!


This may be one of the craziest ideas I’ve ever had but when something feels right and when you can’t forget about it, you keep pursuing it, you keep dreaming it and you keep fighting to make it happen. I am fighting to make this happen. I am calling to the universe to help the pieces fall into place. And I’m thanking every person in my life who has stood beside me and said “how can I help you?” in support of this idea and this mission.

dream big imageI’m on this earth to make big change. I truly believe it. And while somedays I don’t always know what that looks like, in my heart, I honestly feel this is one of them.



I look forward to the journey that lies before me and I hope each and every one of you will join me, will feel the power to share and support, and are excited for what we, as a community (whether or not you CrossFit), can do to impact the world around us.


To anyone interested, here are the 50 States In A Year links to follow:

Instagram: @50statesinayear