Maternity Photo Shoot

Growing up with a house full of girls, I grew up always knowing “Girls Rock!”

Maybe it is because I am an American, growing up with the idea of the American Dream. But I have always had the confidence that I can do anything- anything is possible, the sky is the limit.

These ideas have also pushed me to be a better stronger athlete. I always try. Maybe I can… run further and faster. Maybe I can… lift heavier and stretch deeper. Mentally, I always tell myself, I can do that, I can do more.

Physically, I see the results in reaching new PRs. Physically, I see changes in my body, stronger, leaner. I always say, ¬†“Just try. You will be surprised what your body can do.”

Now that I am pregnant these ideas have never been more true. Girls Rock!

As a pregnant woman, I really have no control over my changing body. At first this really annoyed me, but now more than ever this female body of mine, continues to surprise me. Everyday, my bump gets bigger, reminding me of what my body is capable of… It shouts, “Look what I can do!”

The female body is absolutely amazing – creating and housing a new life. Once again, physically, I see my body transform, from a once lean and fit athlete, to a now curvy strong mother to be.

Maternity Photo Shoot

I decided a maternity photo shoot would be the best way to document my changing body, while also celebrating the beauty of my next life chapter – motherhood.

For this shoot, I was very lucky to work with Raiza, owner and photographer of Raiza Vega Photography. She is a very talented photographer in the DC and Norther Virginia area.

I knew, I would be dressed in a very feminine bohemian outfit, but I was unsure of the location. Raiza suggested Old Town, Alexandria, because it has different areas, so we could capture both, a nature and an urban vibe. She also chose a time in which she could use natuaral light perfectly.

As for my wardrobe, I had a couple different outfits. However, my main pieces were from Free People Рnote: I did not wear anything maternity in these photos. To go along with my bohemian wardrobe, I handmade a flower crown.  11163792_10102540758381886_7699681482017457825_nWell here you go. Below are some of my favorite photos captured during the shoot. Enjoy!

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My maternity photo shoot was a really fun experience! I highly recommend every mama to be have a maternity photo session of their own. Now is the time to embrace how beautiful you are and celebrate motherhood. You will always have memories of this special time, but a photo makes these special moments timeless. Memories may fade, but photos last forever.

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

*All of these photos were taken by Raiza Vega from Raiza Vega Photography, and are protected under copyright laws. 

 

Body Butter recipe: prevent stretch marks, relieve dehydrated skin

February is over – Thank God! This winter has been brutal for the East Coast. New Englander’s got slammed with white out conditions, one blizzard after the next. As for my home,¬†Washington, DC,¬†¬†we haven’t had it nearly as bad as up north. But there also hasn’t been a February this cold since the 1970s, and some temperatures were record breaking.

Last week, we had an ice storm followed by a snow storm. Thumbs up to all of the runners out there training for Boston and other spring marathons. I don’t know how you do it, training in the slippery dark winter conditions. However, on a brighter note, I am very excited to say, March is here. Day light savings time has come, the sun is shining and almost all of the snow is melted. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, the arrival of Spring.

In the mean time, I am still trying to tolerate the cold, and what it has done to my skin. With such cold winter conditions,¬†it is no surprise that my skin has becomes dry, dehydrated, and chapped. This year has been more extreme than ever, and nothing seems to relieve it. Trust me, I’ve tried lotion after lotion.

I have recently become obsessed with Coconut Oil. But while on the search for an amazing lotion to use, this winter, I have had a difficult time finding one containing the main ingredient, Coconut Oil. I also have been very sensitive to smell, so the ones I did find, ended up smelling to strong, and not having enough Coconut Oil.

So after some research, I have decided to stop the never ending hunt for the perfect lotion, and instead make my own body butter. By making my own, I am able to really customize it to my needs.

Some needs¬†that are important to me…

  1. High quality ingredients. Organic and raw ingredients. When purchasing a lotion or body butter, you never know how high the quality the ingredients used are. Just like in food, ingredients used in beauty products that are processed or low quality, do not have the same health benefits as those that are organic and raw. When making your own product, you have complete control in which ingredients you choose to put in your recipe. I chose raw for my butters, and organic cold pressed for my oils.
  2. The amount of ingredients found in the product.¬†¬†When purchasing a lotion or body butter, you never know the exact amounts of each ingredient. It may say it has coconut oil in it, but it may only contain a tiny amount. Many lotions are mostly made with water. Also some may have other fillers and¬†preservatives. When making your own product, you have complete control in the amounts of each ingredient.¬†I didn’t put any water, preservative or fillers in my body butter.¬†I wanted coconut oil to be one of the main ingredients so it is.
  3. Texture. When purchasing a lotion or body butter, you have no control over the texture. This drives me crazy! The two coconut lotions I tried were really liquid like in texture. I felt they were too light. Some body butters I used were to greasy, while others were to waxy. I just wanted a really creamy, rich, whipped texture. When I made my own I was finally able to achieve that.
  4. Smell. ¬†I am very sensitive to smell. I tried a lavender coconut lotion that at first I loved the smell, but then I got really sick of it. I also tried a lotion that smelled like coconut. ¬†At first I loved it, because it reminded me of the beach, but it didn’t take long, soon I was over it. When making your own body butter, you can control the smell. Either, keep it natural with the fragrance that comes from the ingredients used, or you can add any fragrance you want, by adding an essential oil.¬†I kept mine natural, so it smells like coconut and chocolate.
  5. Quantity.  You can make as much or as little as you wish, but keep in mind that an organic product only lasts one year or 18 months if refrigerated.

Body Butter

A client of mine gave me some homemade beauty products this Christmas, made with a focus of essential oils. And although I loved them, it wasn’t until I started reading Alicia Silverstone’s¬†book,¬†Kind Mama¬†that I got the urge to make my own. In this book, Silverstone, has a recipe for a homemade oil, and a homemade body butter. These recipes help keep a mother-to-be’s skin hydrated, and prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.

How to make the Body Butter…¬†

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Ingredients and Health Benefits

Ingredients

  • Raw Shea Butter:¬†Shea butter comes from a nut from the shea tree found in Africa.¬†It is extremely hydrating and has inflammatory properties. It is usually a whitish color and has a very mild smell.¬†Always¬†use raw like I did in this recipe because while in the raw state it contains vitamins A and E along with other minerals.¬†In this recipe use¬†1/2 cup of raw shea butter.shea butter
  • Raw Cocoa Butter:¬†Cocoa butter is from the cacao bean. When found in the raw state, cocoa butter is a tan color, that smells like chocolate. ¬†Also when used in the raw state, cocoa butter is high in antioxidants that fight off free radicals, making it an anti-ager. It is extremely hydrating, moisturizing even the most severe dry skin. But ultimately, it is best known as the ultimate¬†Stretch Mark Reducer¬†and that is¬†why I used it in this formula of body butter. There are no guarantees, but the secret has spread by moms and moms to be, to liberally rub cocoa butter products all over your growing belly, to prevent or reduce stretch marks. So if you are expecting cocoa butter is a must ingredient to include in your homemade body butter, or one to look for in your belly balm of choice.¬†In this recipe use a 1/2 cup of raw cocoa butter.Cocoa butter
  • Organic Coconut Oil:¬†Coconut oil has been used for many years in Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. It has recently become trendy here in the USA. It is a clear white wax consistency, that has a mild coconut smell. It has amazing healing properties. However,¬†when it comes to including it in skin care products it is best know for being a great moisturizer with anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.¬†In this recipe use a 1/2 cup of organic coconut oil.coconut oil
  • Organic Jojoba Oil:¬†Jojoba (pronounced ho-hoba) comes from the seed of the jojoba plant found in south west USA. It has many vitamins and minerals essential for healthy skin and hair. Jojoba similar to the others above is a moisturizing, anti fungal, stretch mark reducer, anti inflammatory, and has many other healing properties including unclogging hair follicles to promote more hair growth. Although, it does it all, the most unique property about jojoba oil is how gentle it is for sensitive skin. It is a yellow oil, that has a mild smell. ¬†Please read labels on the back of the bottle to ensure it is pure jojoba oil and not mixed with any other oils. ¬†In this recipe use 1/4 cup of Jojoba oil.
  • Vitamin E Oil:¬†Vitamin E oil is best known for its healing properties. It can heal scars, stretch marks and sunburn etc.¬†Warming:¬†I don’t have a bad reaction to Vitamin E oil, however some do. It is strong and can cause irritation, If you experience irritation do not add vitamin e oil to your body butter. If you do not experience irritation, in this recipe use 1/8 a cup of Vitamin E Oil.¬†

Directions

This body butter recipe is vegetarian/vegan and raw/organic.

  1. Heat all solids, (1/2 cup raw shea butter, 1/2 cup raw cocoa butter, 1/2 cup coconut oils,) in a water bath. A water bath is used to slowly melt the ingredients with out altering their integrity. To achieve this, you will place all ingredients in a bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water. Let the steam from the boiling water heat the bowl, which melts the ingredients.
  2. Once ingredients are heated, set out to cool. Once cooled to room temperature place in refrigerator and let cool for 1 hour, until ingredients turn into a soft solid.
  3. After cooling process, remove from refrigerator, and add oils (1/4 cup jojoba, 1/8 cup of vitamin E oil,) to the bowl.
  4. Once oils are added, use electric mixer to combine all ingredients. Use electric mixer until desired whipped texture is achieved. This doesn’t take long, with in minutes the recipe will almost look like a whipped frosting or whipped cream consistency. This is what you want. It smells amazing and becomes a rich, whipped, creamy, soft, body butter.¬†whipped

 

There are lots of great body butters and belly balms out there, but by making your own, you have complete control over what ingredients you use and how much of each ingredient you use.

Other body butter and belly balms that I love.

x354 I have yet to try this one, but I have heard it is very good. And it looks like it is made from the same ingredients I used minus the vitamin E oil.

StorQ belly Balm

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I have this, and love it! It is a very small amount, but perfect to put in your purse and so you can reapply through out the day.

Have you ever made your own body butter? What is your favorite ingredient found in skin care products?

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

The MUST HAVE hair Product for Athletes

As a hair stylist I tell my clients that they should not be shampooing their hair everyday. Some agree with me, while others sit there pondering the idea, followed by tons of comments and questions. I hear most often…

My hair gets so greasy, so I have to shampoo everyday.

But I work out everyday, and get super sweaty…

But you are a runner… Don’t you shampoo after your daily runs?

Do you shampoo after Bikam yoga?”

The answer is simple…

No I don’t shampoo after every workout, run, hot yoga class, etc…

To much shampooing strips the scalp of it’s natural oil, and dries out it’s ends. Natural oils are suppose to be on your scalp, so when they are continuously washed away, your scalp naturally produces more. Also, when you scrub your scalp daily, you are stimulating the sebaceous glands¬†on the scalp causing them to produce even more oil than necessary. The result is a head full of oily hair, and dry ends. (Side note: The result above can be worse, depending on shampoo brand and type. So please seek professional advice for daily hair care regiment.)

I know it sounds scary to stop washing your hair everyday, but it will do your hair some good. Changing up your routine is hard, and it may take some time for your hair/scalp to get use to skipping daily shampooing, but trust me it will adjust.

The key to not shampooing daily is using DRY SHAMPOO.

As a runner Dry Shampoo has become my best friend, I have even used it after Bikram yoga.

Dry Shampoo:¬†¬†is a product that absorbs oil from hair, and refreshes hair on days you don’t shampoo. It comes in a powder or powder spay form.

Wondering how to apply Dry Shampoo? It is NOT hard at all…

Watch this quick Dry Shampoo Tutorial I have made and follow the steps below…

Note: On days I don’t shampoo my hair, I actually don’t wet my hair in the shower. So keep in mind, when applying Dry Shampoo, hair must be DRY, not wet from a shower.

 

  1. Begin by taking medium sections and spray dry shampoo at the root, section size will depend on how much hair you have.
  2. Leave the section and move on to the next section. This allows the previous sprayed section to dry and absorb oil.
  3. Move down to the side of the head spraying up and down.
  4. Continue to crown of head and nape if necessary.
  5. Go back through using hands to blend product in until it becomes invisible.

If you have dark hair and you are concerned the dry shampoo will make you hair white. Don’t worry, as shown in the video, the dry shampoo that appears white when blended correctly will dry invisible. Also remember for longer lasting hair only focus on oil areas.

Besides absorbing oil, dry shampoo can also give lots of volume on days when hair goes flat. This holiday season, try using dry shampoo to add volume to your holiday up do. 

MY FAVORITE DRY SHAMPOOS

Dry Shampoo 2I hope this helps. Now stop washing you hair daily, and start using Dry Shampoo. Dry Shampoo  should be in everyones gym bag!

What’s you favorite Dry Shampoo? Leave a comment below, for your chance to win one of the Dry Shampoos above.

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t like labels.

Last weekend, I went to DC VegFest. It was totally cool hanging out with all of those vegans and vegetarians. ¬†The Veg community¬†is a very friendly group, and most wanted to know my story. I was asked by a couple different people, ¬†“What brought you to VegFest today? Are you vegan?”

My answer to that questions is…

No. I don’t feel it comfortable or necessary to label myself as anything. I don’t want to follow rigid rules of any kind, when it comes to food – I am too much of a foodie to be so restrictive and disciplined. I simply want to eat a healthy well balanced diet – full of color, flavor, and texture. And although, I eat and cook mostly organic plant based, I¬†am opened minded, adventurous, and willing to explore all different types of food lifestyles.

I recently found my new favorite blog called, My New Roots. When reading Sarah’s (the owner of the blog) About page, I thought to myself, ” Wow! She nailed it. This is exactly how I feel.”

Sarah says, “The only label I‚Äôll slap on myself is ‚Äúwhole-food-lover.” Nothing makes me feel better, think better, and look better than whole foods! And the big bonus? I¬†never¬†count calories or worry about my weight because I know that if I eat this way, my body will be in a perfect state of balance and health, naturally.”

I agree with her 100%. Although, my diet is mainly plant based, consisting of veggies, fruit, grains, beans, quinoa, nuts and seeds, I still can not label myself as vegetarian or vegan.¬†There has been weeks in which I have gone meatless, but there are days you can find me eating a greek yogurt. ¬†I absolutely love eggs and eat them a couple times a week. I also can’t live without fish. My favorite thing about summer time is eating a Maryland crab feast or a Lobster bake on Martha’s Vineyard.

If you are vegetarian or vegan, your main priority is eliminating all animal products. But the most important thing to me is that everything I eat is organic and whole. It is a very rare day, if you find me eating something that is not organic. I avoid GMOs and processed foods. I try to buy everything from local farms, and eat seasonally. If I am eating eggs, they are from cage free hens eating an organic feed. When I eat fish, I only eat wild caught. And on the rare occasion that I eat dairy or any other animal product, it must be treated as humanely as possible, free of antibiotics and hormones.

There are times in which I love labels, and there are times in which I hate them. There are some labels that are simple, while others are more complicated. The times in which I love them is when they are simple and define ones identity. The times in which I hate them are when they are complicated and become stereotypes.  I can label myself as a marathon runner, simply because I run marathons. But, I can not label myself as vegan or vegetarian, although I often cook and eat that way.

I bought this pendant from a vendor at VegFest…

 

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It says, Plant Strong.

So if I must come up with a label, Plant Strong is a pretty awesome one. I also love the label that Sarah from My New Roots came up with РWhole Food Lover.  Add organic to it and slap it on me.

What’s your label?¬†

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

DC VegFest

Today was a fun and fulfilling Saturday.

The sun was shining and there wasn’t a drop of humidity in the air. It was the perfect day for a quick five mile loop around the monuments. 10653611_10102009897351646_5078060190360476724_nI wore my new running shoes, Newton Gravity. I also wore my new running watch, Garmin 620. It was my absolute first time wearing the watch and I loved it. ¬†However,¬†I will be writing a detailed review on the Garmin 620 later this week so stay tuned.

10702231_10102009114106276_1414548754899070551_nThen it was off to DC VegFest

The DC VegFest was located in South East DC at the Yards Park right along the river. Growing up in the DC area, South East was a part of the city you always tried to avoid, it was poor and dangerous. But now, it tells a different story. The famous Eastern Market is located in South East, and eastern market is one of my favorite markets in the area. There are also some really cool bars and restaurants on the neighboring streets.

But today, the VegFest took me to another area in South East. I would have never thought to go down to the waterfront. Wow! Things are changing everyday. Check out how cool the South East waterfront is…

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DC waterfront

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After walking around the waterfront my friend and I headed over to DC VegFest. 10625143_10102009396749856_5438624594030666857_n

DC VegFest

DC Veg Fest

At the DC VegFest, there were some fabulous vendors, delicious plant based food, free samples, and amazing guest speakers.

SPEAKERS

I didn’t get to see all of the¬†speakers, but I saw a couple. They discussed the health benefits of living a vegan lifestyle. They also touched on politics, and environmental reasons for becoming vegan. They touched on animal cruelty, and some told their personal stories of why they went veg. The last speaker of the event was actually on the October cover of Runner’s World, wearing vegan compression socks.

VENDORS

Veg Fest soapsThere were some awesome vendors at the festival, but this soap vendor was by far my favorite. I have been using this sugar based shower gel from Blue Mercury which has been irritating my skin. Sugar is bad for you in every way.¬†¬†So when I saw this vendor, I thought perfect just what I needed. Buying soap here, saved me a trip to Sephora or Blue Mercury. All of the soap is free of animal products and both of the bars of soap I purchased have coconut oil in them. Coconut oil is my new obsession… (I will be writing a detailed post on the health benefits later this week so stay tuned.) The only negative thing I saw is that some of the soaps contain palm oil. Palm oil is in everything, and although it is not an animal product, it is not very vegan. Palm Tree farms in South East Asia, are taking away food and habitats from Elephant, Tigers, and many other animals. Anyway, I went home with two soaps a coconut one and and oatmeal one. The coconut soap is free of palm oil, but the oatmeal one may have some small amounts. Unfortunately, palm oil is hard to avoid.

FOODVeg Fest lunch

Going Veg is all about eating your veggies. If you go to DC VegFest next year, make sure you come with an appetite. There were tons of amazing food vendors and food trucks. A lot of the vendors only took cash, so make sure you bring cash. However, there are ATMs for those who forget. The food ranged from pizza to Indian, Ethiopian to mexican. There were sweets, and southern cooking, even greek.

Overall, I enjoyed DC VegFest!

I highly recommend VegFest for anyone who is already living a plant based lifestyle, and for those who are just interested to see what it is all about. At DC VegFest I learned a little more about animal cruelty, politics, and the environment. I also got the chance to eat some awesome plant based food, while learning how I can help create a better food system for the USA. And in my eyes, at the end of the day that is the most important thing. You are what you eat.

‚ÄúThat‚Äôs when I heard part of the secret. What we eat is a matter of life and death. Food is who we are.‚ÄĚ ¬†~ Scott Jurek

Stay tuned for some upcoming posts…

  1. Review on Garmin 620
  2. Coconut oil health benefits.

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Alert: Fall Hair Trend

When you are not running on the trail or lifting in the weight room, even fit girls need their hair to look good.

And because I am both a fit girl and hair stylist today I am going to reveal to you the latest fall hair trend.

When a new season approaches every client who sits in my chair asks, “What’s trendy? What’s new?”

This season everyone is getting their hair chopped. The long locks that were once “ombr√©” or beautifully sun-kissed are now dry and parched – they’ve gotta go.

Celebrities such as Emma Stone …

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and… Kaley Cuoco have taken the plunge.

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(Kaley, however has gone shorter since… But her textured bob Is my favorite on her.)

It seems like every client is asking for this look.

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So I got a fresh new look too…

For a while now I have been growing my hair. I also have been some sort of red.

Summer is over and Fall is beginning. So I decided it was time for a change.

Goodbye long hair.

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Goodbye red ginger.

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Hello short blonde hair…

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Hair color: Wella
Hair product: Sebastian Texture Maker

What do you think of my new hair? Do you like this new trend?

It’s not your regular old gym clothes…

This last year, I took a business building class. At this class, I had to describe my daily fashion identity by using only one adjective. This was a very hard task. I thought to myself, I am so many things. Some days I feel artsy, other days I feel sporty. Some days I dress edgy, while other days I wear vintage. I love mixing and matching. I easily find inspiration, everywhere.

Although, all of the above is true, I stared to narrow it down… there is one thing that all the above share. And whether what I am wearing is edgy, vintage, artsy, or sporty, what I realized is that in one way or another, they are all girly and feminine.

Do you remember Clueless?

This is by far one of my favorite movies from the 90s. I was 10 years old when it came out, and I remember watching this movie, thinking how cool all of their outfits were.

Look at those gym clothes…

Clueless

Now looking back, I realize that I was the Clueless one, and the point of putting them in these outfits was to show how clueless they were too.

There is no way that those gym clothes were functional. Try running a 5k in those and you would end up with horrible chaffing. Although, they were not functional, what they were, was trendy.

Trendy and fashionable is what I loved about the gym clothes worn by Cher in Clueless, back in the 90s. Today, Trendy, fashionable, and functional is what I look for in my running gear, yoga, and workout apparel.

I love fashion.

I love expressing myself.

I have done previous blog posts on fashionable gym clothes and functional running gear. Why? Because it is important! When you look good, you feel good. Specific clothing is made, for specific sports. When you wear the proper gear for whichever sport you are participating in you preform better.

So although the gym clothing in Clueless were not functional, they were trendy. Now a days you can have the best of both worlds. Now a days workout clothing, running gear, yoga apparel is both fashionable and functional.

I normally love lululemon, and I have to admit most of my wardrobe is lululemon. However, lately I am loving Athleta. In the past, I always thought Athleta looked older, like it catered to my mother’s age group. But right now it is looking trendy, for the younger fashionable athlete. I am loving everything.

After I made a couple purchases in the store, at the register, I was asked how I had heard about Athleta. I have always known about Athleta however, I was inspired to go to the store, because of this image I saw on instagram.

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Who wouldn’t want to go it to the store after seeing this amazing image? I actually have been finding most of my inspiration from images posted on instagram. It is by far my favorite form of social media. I now follow Athleta along with some of my other favorite stores, and people. If you aren’t following me on instagram yet, do it, @dorseyml.

These are some other inspiring images. I actually have those pants!!

What athletic brands are your favorite? Do you shop at Athleta?

© 2014 sweatdaily

Other posts you may like…

New workout challenge #29daysofIWill

Lately, I have been posting a daily work out photo on Instagram and Facebook. Because of these daily work out photos, I have gotten a lot of questions and comments from curious followers wondering what this new challenge is.

Let me start out by saying I am not an Under Armour ambassador or work for Under Armour in any way. I am simply an athlete who loves Under Armour and is a part of the Under Armour fitness community, What’s Beautiful. Along with the motivation and support this community gives me, there is also a new challenge called 29 Days of I Will. This is how it works…

Set up a profile page on What’s Beautiful. Every day for 29 days one of the Under Armour ambassadors will announce a new workout challenge that you will complete. You can find this workout video and/or photo on What’s Beautiful, but also on Instagram. You will then take a photo or video of yourself completing the workout challenge. Post this photo/video on Instagram using #29daysofiwill. Also post it on your Whats Beautiful profile. To see other athletes completing the challenges too you can search #29daysofiwill.

I have been doing these workout challenges in addition to my other workout routine. Some days I simply can’t fit it in at the same time of my other workout routine so it forces me to do night workouts. What I love most about these challenges is that they get me out of my comfort zone and get me to try new things that I would have never considered trying.

Day 1

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Day 2

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Day 3
Today was all about suicides. I haven’t done suicides since I was on the tennis team in high school. I remember hating them. But surprisingly this time I found them really fun. I did 3 tennis courts worth. And plan on hitting the tennis courts more often.

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Day 4
Today was a pool workout. 5 50 meter laps. After each 50 meters do 10 dips and 10 push ups adding 10 more reps after each lap. Example lap 3 would have you do 30 dips and 30 push ups. I didn’t have a pool so I substituted laps in the pool with laps around the track. I went to the local high school’s track and surprisingly it was really busy. I was happy about this because I love being surrounded by other runners. It was definitely a different vibe from the trail, but it was a good vibe. There was also a local running club there too doing track work outs. I have always wanted to hit up the track but just never got to it. I am thankful I finally got there and look forward to doing more track work outs. I was also lucky it was a warm night in December and I was able to wear shorts.

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Day 5
Today I learned a new Yoga Pose called Fallen Triangle! I love this pose.

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Day 6
Was to sign up for something you have never tried before. I am still deciding on what this will be so I skipped this day. I promise I will get back to this.

Day 7
Today was a circuit workout.

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So this is what I have done so far. Today is day 13 for this challenge. So as you can see I have some major catching up to do. Hopefully, I’ll get caught up soon. The one negative thing about this challenge is that I am a morning runner and do most of my workouts in the morning before work. Unfortunately, the ambassadors post the daily challenge mid morning. This does not work for me because I like to plan my work outs the night before. Other than that it is fun to learn new yoga poses and workouts to include with my runs and current weight lifting plan. It’s not to late. Check out this challenge!!

Do you use social media to learn new workouts and find inspiration and support?

Race Report: Marine Corps Marathon

“Whatever song you have in your head had better be a good one. Whatever story you are telling yourself had better be a story about going on. There is no room for negativity. The reason most people quit has nothing to do with their body.” ~ Scott Jurek¬†

Below is the song I had in my head, the story I told myself. Below is my experience running my 3rd Marine Corps Marathon, revealing everything to you, including my mental strategies.

NIGHT BEFORE

Around 10:00 pm, I read the Marine Corps Marathon Facebook page status. It said something along the lines of, “It’s bed time! Sleep Tight runners.” I laughed at the idea – no one sleeps well the night before a big race.

I curled up in bed, everything prepared exactly the way I wanted it, totally ready for race day. My alarm was set for 6:00 am, but I knew I would wake up before it went off. I wasn’t nervous, I was more excited and anxious. It was definitely bitter sweet, this marked the end of my marathon training, and when I woke in the morning, it would be the beginning of my race day.

MORNING OF 

As I predicted, I tossed and turned through out the night, checking the clock. At 5:50 am, the text messages started. Friends and family wishing me good luck for my big race. I turned off my phone alarm and headed to the bathroom where all my race stuff was laid out. After getting dressed in my race clothes, body gliding everything including the bottom of my feet (my problem area), I grabbed my bag, my Garmin, my iPod, my peanut butter sandwich, and a bottle of water, then I was off to my mom’s.

I arrived at her place, at 6:30 am, gave her a map of the course and a game plan of where to meet me through out the race. My little sister, even rolled out of bed to give me a quick pep talk, it was super helpful. I was already starting to feel pumped.

THE METRO 

Mom gave me a ride to the metro. And when entering the metro, I started to see all the other runners, what a relief, how exciting. MCM METRO¬†I got off at the pentagon, and just followed the crowd to the start. The sun started to rise, and the Marines were there, (and they were cuter than ever) welcoming us, and hollering, “Good morning, runners!!”

Because of Boston, security was tight, everyone had to have a clear see through bag, but the Marines kept it organized and checked bags quickly.

At this point it was 7:20 am, so I stripped down- peeling off my sweats. I checked my bag with the UPS trucks, stuffing everything except for my phone and sports beans into my bag and then handed it over. I was wearing shorts and a tank top and people began to comment, “Wow, looking at you makes me cold.” I answered back,” I am more concerned about overheating and being hot.” I had thought about wearing an old shirt, and old socks on my hands as gloves, but honestly, I didn’t think it was that cold out there, and I knew it would warm up quick. I saw people wearing long pants, hats, ear muffs – I thought they were crazy. It’s not January guys.

MY CORRAL

So I headed down to my corral. The last two times I ran this race I stood with the 4:30 group. This time I wanted to try to hang with the 4:15 group as long as I could. This race has 30,000 runners, so it is going to be packed, crowded. My sister thought it would be best to start with the 4:30 group so that way I wouldn’t go out too fast in the beginning. I however, was planning on running most of the race at a consistent pace that would get me to the finish line, with a new PR, which meant anything faster than a 4:30, but I was hoping for around a 4:15, and because of how crowded it can get I didn’t want to get stuck running to slow in the beginning. So my advice to you, when running in a crowded race, and you are debating between corrals, start with the faster one.

Once in my corral, I spotted the 4:15 pacer, she had a sign with red and white balloons. MCM 415¬†My plan was to run my own race, but keep my eye on her through out the race. I had my Garmin, and I had a pace bracelet (which I highly recommend), both of these would help me finish strong, with a new PR, so if I lost sight of the pacer, it wouldn’t ruin my race, plus she was passing the start line before I would be.

THE START

In the past, right before the gun went off, they would announce that, “The Marines are watching over you, on the ground and in the sky,” then they would fly military jets over our heads. This year they had people sky dive in to the corse. Everyone had their phones out trying to video tape and get photos, trying to capture the moment. It was really cool,creating an excited energy. Everyone was jumping up and down, and ready to cross over that start line. The gun went off at 7:55. At 8:10, I was across the start line, my Garmin was ticking.

FIRST 2 MILES

Down 110, up through Rosslyn, up the Lee Highway hill… Then on the right hand side, around mile 2, outside my sister’s apartment, I spotted my mom, Erik, Erik’s mom, my sister, and her friend Erin. They cheered loud, I cheered back, waving and continued on my way. They had really funny signs, that got them tons of attention.

MCM EM AND SIGNS

MILES 3-9

Down Spout run, up to the Key bridge, over the bridge, down M street, down Wisconsin. George Town was fun and full of spectators. Then to the waterfront, up Rock Creek park, I ran.

Running up Rock Creek was a new part of the course. It was fun to run up, and then see the faster runners running down. The loop around was a little congested, though, and then it took a little while for people ahead of me to pick up their pace. I guess people don’t run fast down, the down hills, but I like to, that is part of my strategy – as long as you don’t pound the pavement and you stay light on your feet, use momentum and physics to fly down the down hills.

MILE 10-12

Before I knew it I was at mile 10. This marathon was flying by. I checked my watch, I started to get concerned maybe I was running too fast. But I was right on time.

My family was suppose to meet me at mile 11, but around 10.5 I saw my sister sprinting next to me. What the heck… She screamed at me, that I had missed them and that instead of being at mile 11 they were at 10. She asked me if I had been receiving her text messages. I ended up moving my cell phone from my back pocket to my sports bra, so I would be able to read and respond to her text messages. Haha, I can’t believe I was texting and running – too funny.

HALF WAY DONE – Mile 13.1

The next mile marker my sister would be at was mile 16. She would text me when she got to her exact location. Next, significant mile marker I was passing was 13.1. I couldn’t believe I was already at the half way point. And while I was there, down in Hains Point, I realized I was running right behind the 4:15 pacer, balloons and sign. I turned off my music to listen to her pep talk.

THE PEP TALK

“We are not going to think that we still have a half marathon to run, but instead we are going to break the rest of this race up in pieces.” Perfect I thought, that was one of my original game plans. She continued,”First we are going to think about getting through these next two miles and making it to mile 15. Once we are at mile 15, we will be out of Hains Point, which means we will be out of this stupid park.” I couldn’t help but laugh, because it was so true, no one running the Marine Corps Marathon, likes running Haines Point. “Once we are at mile 15, we will be running on the National Mall. At mile 15, we will think about getting through the next 2 miles and making it to mile 17. This mile is a significant meaningful mile in a marathon because it takes us into signal digits.” Perfect that was another mental strategy I had been practicing. Then she told us, “From 17 we will run the next three miles and make it to mile 20, then we will beat the bridge and head out of DC and into Crystal City.” She told us she would stop talking now, and give us another pep talk on the bridge. Some guy who was totally out of breath desperately said, “Just get us there!” Haha this pacer has a lot of people depending on her. I loved her pep talk, it definitely motivated me, but I didn’t desperately need her to get me to the finish line. Her pep talk was helpful and got me even more mentally focused, but I still wanted to stick to my game plan, and watching my Garmin, running my own race.

MILE 15 

I then felt a vibration, and read a text from my sports bra. Em was waiting for me at mile 16 right passed the water station. I was at mile 15, I had easily made it out of the oh so boring Hains Point. I was running towards mile 16.

mcm-thumbs-up

MILE 16

Just like she said, I spotted Em right passed the water station at mile 16. Erin snapped a photo of the two of us.

MCM MILE 16

They were impressed with my timing, and told me that they would meet me in Crystal City next to the Cosi. So off I went.

MILE 17

I had made it to mile 17, and thought, single digits, single digits, 9 more to go. I was feeling great!

mcm-1

MILE 18-20

I kept running, checking my pace bracelet, checking my Garmin, jamming out to my iPod. Then I realized I was leaving the National Mall, and approaching the 14th street bridge. I had made it to mile 20.

MCM BRIDGE

BEAT THE BRIDGE

In my previous Marine Corps Marathon, a Marine stands at mile 20, the start of the bridge, and he yells, “Mile 20, beat the bridge.” This year the Marines were there but they didn’t say anything. I was a little disappointed, but I kept my head focused. The bridge is almost 2 miles long. It can be super sunny and hot, or really windy and cold. This time around it was sunny and hot. This is also the spot where there are normally no spectators. It is just too tricky for spectators to get on the bridge. Ironically though, there were more this year, than the previous times I have run it. But because there aren’t that many spectators, this is the spot that a lot of runners, begin to walk, or stretch.

HITTING THE WALL

They stretch and walk, because they just ran 20 miles and no one is up there to see them walk. This is the spot that runners “Hit the wall.” I on the other hand was not hitting the wall, I was determined to beat the bridge. I stayed focused and promised myself I would not walk. I just wanted to run the bridge and get to the next water station. Plus I had just passed mile 21, only 5 more to go…

MILE 21

Mile 21 is a significant mile for me, because my longest run in training is a 21 mile run. (This year it might have been 22) During my weekly marathon training, I do a 5 mile easy run. When I hit mile 21 in my marathon, I told myself, “Only 5 mile to go, my five mile easy run.”

MILE 22

Finally, I got off the bridge. I was out of DC and in VA. At mile 22, I decided to take some sports beans and walk the water station. But I didn’t hang there too long, I started running again, and told myself that I need to get to Cosi, to find Em. I kept my eyes open for other people I recognized, but I didn’t see anyone.

MILE 23

Em was right where she said she would be, she is really good at spotting me. She jumped in just as we had planned. She was going to run the last 3.2 miles with me. She was going to be my Dusty. I was excited to have a buddy pace me to the finish line, especially since mile 23 was when I started to feel tired, and blistery on my left foot.

Lululemon was also cheering in Crystal City.  Along with some really funny signs, their energy made me get a second wind.

MCM COOL SIGN

As we ran, through Crystal City Em, told me that mom, Erik, and Erik’s mom were standing out front of Legal Seafood. They had changed the course from the previous years, and instead of looping all around Crystal Drive, we ran Crystal Drive and then turned up 23rd, passed Legal Seafood. I didn’t look at the corse map too closely, so this was a surprise to me, but it made more since and I liked it better.

Once I saw my family, I waved to them as they took my picture, and they screamed, “See ya at the Finish line.”

The finish line would be my last and final stop. I grabbed one last water cup at the final station, popped some sports beans, and told Em, “Let’s get this bad boy done.” She ran a little ahead of me, but I was totally fine with chasing her, it made me try to keep up my pace, blisters and all.

MILE 24

At mile 24, I though only 2 more miles. I will be done with my 3rd Marine Corps Marathon in less then 20 minutes. Although that seemed so short, at the same time the finish line seemed so far.

ONE MOE MILE

But just like in my previous two MCM, I saw the road sign that said, Memorial Bridge Exit. “Just get to that sign,” I thought. Then I was there. The next road sign I read said, Iwo Jima Memorial. “Just get to that road sign,” I thought. Then I was there. I made a left and saw the hill. Em wanted me to sprint up the hill as fast as I could. I had run this hill thousands of times before, because it is a part of one of my regular weekly running routes. I was familiar with this hill and new the finish line was right after it. So I ran as fast as I could up the Iwo Jima hill. And then, to the right of the hill, there it was the Finish line.

MCM race times

I had crossed over the finish line, finishing my 3rd Marine Corps Marathon, 11 minutes faster then my previous. My official time was 4:19:26. I had finished, I had set a new PR, and couldn’t have been happier!

THE FINISH – 26.2

Marines were there to greet us at the finish line. I was lucky to get a very cute one to put my marathon finisher medal around my neck. After, I walked around the finisher’s area, collecting all my goodies, I headed to brunch with my family. I sucked down two Blood Mary’s and ate donuts, at Lyon Hall. It was the perfect post race meal.

MCM HOT MARINE

MCM Finisher medal

MCM me

“One of the things I appreciate about running was how it strengthened and deepened friendships.” ~ Scott Jurek

I signed up for this race with L, but right when marathon training started she found out that she had a baby on the way. So I ended up training for this race totally by myself. This wasn’t the first time I had trained for a marathon totally alone, my last MCM I ran it solo as well. People have asked me, “Who did you run your marathon with?” ¬†I simply answered, “No one I can personally name off the top of my head. But I wasn’t bored or lonely. I ran with ¬†30,000 other runners, several spectators, the Military, everyone who read my blog, all of my family and friends who showed their support and love.”

So… Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

“In some ways, an ultra isn’t even as hard as a marathon.” ~ Scott Jurek¬†

© 2013 sweatdaily

* I have purchased all of my race photos from marathonfoto.com. I have not received my downloads and that is why I have the proof photos up. When the professional photos come, I will post those.

my first HAIR FACT FRIDAY post.

HAIR FACT: Your fashion magazine is lying to you…

sooo many lies… that I can’t stand to read them anymore.

The other day, my co-worker and I started talking about how much false information is exposed in the pages of some of the most popular highly respected, fashion magazines.

In one of them, there was an article about how one can cut costs on a hair cut. They advised the reader to go to a more expensive senior stylist to get the hair cut of their dreams. But then to save money, go to a cheaper junior stylist, and tell them to just trim following the lines of the cut they already had.

Let me tell you why this does not work. 

First of all let me make this very clear, we are talking about HAIR SALONS, not barber shops, hair cuttery, super clips or anything like that.

So lets get started…

You may be asking what is a senior stylist? A senior stylist is one that has been in the hair industry for a very long time. A senior stylist has years and years of experience, some 30 years or longer.

A junior stylist may be younger and definitely does not have as many years of experience as a senior, but many younger stylists are eager to travel to hair shows and classes. They are the ones that are always determined to know what’s new and hot, always trying to keep up with the trends.

Both are great, professionals!

So back to the magazine article…

If you go to one stylist to get your first hair cut and then go to another stylist to just follow the original cut, it is insulting and impossible. It is insulting because everyone cuts differently, whether it is a senior stylist or a junior stylist, we all have our own creative touch, so please don’t tell us to cut like someone else. Also, we don’t all use the same brand of tools, or products, which is also a major factor.

Also if you have waited more than 4 weeks to get a hair cut it is almost impossible to see what your previous cut is. Hair grows differently depending on your natural hair patterns and hair-line. Also hair is different depending on the seasons. One hair cut that worked amazing for you, in the summer humidity, may not look the same in the dry winter, especially for those that have curls. Another thing to consider is breakage Рcertain parts of your hair may not grow as fast or may not grow at all, because of breakage. Another factor, to consider is your hair goes through changes, hormones, new medications , etc. can change hair. Your hair may have been at a different state when you got your previous hair cut.  So as you can see, it is not as simple as the fashion magazine claims it to be.

My advice to you is to find a hair stylist you love, who can give your your dream hair cut in any season, and stay loyal to her. The better your stylist knows you, the easier it is for her to cut and color your hair. The more your stylist sees you, the more familiar she becomes with your hair and life style. The more you see your stylist the easier it is to speak the same language. The longer you see your stylist the more life changes she gets to experience with you… weddings, baby, etc. When life changes, hair changes.

When it comes to fashion magazines, hair stylists are not writing articles on hair, ¬†journalists are… and when it comes to advising you on products to purchase, they are just advertising for the products that pay them to- so when in doubt ask your hair stylist.

Bottom line, for your best hair days, stay loyal to your hair stylist and use fashion magazines to seek inspiration not information.

Stay loyal to your hair stylist and ¬†I promise you…

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To all my very loyal clients. Thank You!

© 2013 sweatdaily

Hair Fact Friday!

As you all may know, besides being a clean eating, marathon running, fitness addict, I am also a licensed hair stylist by profession.

I have always had the desire to write about hair. But I have avoided the idea because I wanted to keep my blog strictly about nutrition and fitness. And although this blog will be mostly about running, nutrition, and fitness. I can’t fight the urge any longer. I am beyond annoyed, I am fed up. I have to share my hair knowledge with you, because there is way too much false info out there.

I love you, and you more than anyone deserve to know the truth. So for now on I will be writing one hair post a week, on this blog, to expose hair lies and clear up any confusion you may have about your hair. My hair posts will be uploaded on Friday, and it will be called Hair Fact Friday!

I hope you enjoy these Hair Fact Friday posts… and feel free to personally e-mail me at sweat1xdaily@gmail.com if you have any hair questions you would like me to address on the blog or comment below.

© 2013 sweatdaily